“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.
The definition above is 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 for some reason struggling with reading and/or spelling (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), and/or math (dyscalculia).
- Dyslexia is a product of neural development. The areas of the brain that are responsible for recognizing the sounds associated with letters/numbers, letter or number combinations, spelling, reading, speech and comprehension are not functioning in the same pattern 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 differences/disabilities use some portions of their left brain but most often tap into the right brain for help.
Again, people with dyslexia usually have normal and often time gifted intelligence. However relay of information can be somewhat complicated and that can make every day reading a challenging process.
- The person with dyslexia (contrary to popular belief) does not see the letters backwards, but rather the brain can confuse the interpretation of what the eyes are seeing.
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, involving multi-sensory teachings that are researched based like Orton-Gillingham, are the interventions needed to help the Dyslexic student.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are often 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.