What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that primarily affects the ability to learn to read and spell. It often runs in families and stems from a difficulty in processing the sounds in words.

It primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. It is sometimes known as 'a specific learning difficulty (SpLD).

 

Dyslexia can affect different people in different ways and its effects range from mild to severe. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities and is not an indication of intelligence or lack thereof. It is biological in origin and is defined by a lack of phonological awareness, which is an ability to convert letter combinations to sounds and vice versa.

 

The impact of dyslexia is extensive: if you cannot learn to read, you cannot read to learn and everything we do at school and throughout life requires us to have the skills to be able to read and write fluently and accurately. Above and beyond the difficulties and barriers that dyslexia presents, is the damage that low self-esteem can cause.

 

However, with the right help and support, strategies to overcome difficulties associated with dyslexia can be learnt and dyslexia needn't be a barrier to achievement.

Further reading