“Dys” – Difficulty, poor, or inadequate + “lexia” – words, language = difficulty with words or language.
Dyslexia is a “specific learning disability” that is neurological in origin.
- It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
- These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom.
- This is the definition recognized and accepted by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
So what does all of that mean?
- Basically you have a person with normal or gifted intelligence who is unexpectedly struggling with reading, writing, spelling and/or math.
Dyslexia is a product of neural development.
- The areas of the brain that are responsible for recognizing the sounds associated with letters, letter combinations, spelling, reading, speech and comprehension are not functioning in the same way as someone who does not have dyslexia.
Most of our deductive reasoning, reading comprehension and analytical thinking occurs in the LEFT side of the brain.
- People with these specific learning disabilities use only small portions of their LEFT brain and also portions of the RIGHT brain.
The person with dyslexia (contrary to popular belief) does not see the letters backwards, but rather the brain confuses what the eyes are seeing.
- Again, people with dyslexia have normal and often times gifted intelligence.
- However, the confusion and slow relay in those specific areas of the brain make every day reading an onerous process.
- It is common for Dyslexics to have other associated challenges such as Dysgraphia (inconsistent dysfunctional handwriting) and Dyscalculia (difficulty with math) for the same reasons.
While Dyslexia originates in the brain, it is not a medical condition, therefore there is no medical intervention.
- Medical Doctors do not receive specific training in identifying or intervening with specific learning disorders.
- Education remediation are the interventions needed to help the Dyslexic student.
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often are seen in people with Dyslexia.
- Those diagnosis do have medical interventions associated with them and should be evaluated and treated by a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist.