What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a complex neurological condition which is constitutional
in origin. The symptoms may affect many areas of learning, and may be
described as a specific learning difficulty in reading, spelling and
written language. Numeracy, rotational skills (music), motor
function and organisational skills may also be involved. Dyslexia is
particularly related to mastering written language, although oral
language may be affected to some degree.
The word "Dyslexia" comes from the Greek language, and it's literal
translation is from the words "dys", meaning difficulty, and "lexis",
meaning words. Difficulty with words. It is evident that any child or
student experiencing such a difficulty will have a bad time in school,
which is so book-based. School and society value those who quickly
acquire a good standard in literacy skills, the very skills which
dyslexic people find so difficult to master. Based on government
sponsored studies, the British Dyslexia Association estimates that 10%
of children have some degree of dyslexia, while about 4% will be
affected severely. 4% is one child in every class on average. Most
will need some special teaching at some time during their school life,
but the most severely affected may need help throughout their
education, with support even at college and university. BDA HANDBOOK
Please note: Many of the difficulties listed below are common during the
acquisition and use of language.
It is only when they persist beyond the time when an average child has
grown out of them that they may indicate dyslexia, and expert advice
should be sought:
• Family history of dyslexic
• Speaking clearly progressing later than expected
• Jumbled phrases (eg. cobbler club instead of
toddler club, or teddy dare for teddy bear)
• Quick thinker and do-er
• Use of substitute words of near misses
• Mis-labelling (eg. Lampshade for lamp-post)
• A lisp, ducth instead of ducks
• Inability to remember the 'label' (eg. may be able
to separate different colours, but be unable to tell
• Confused directional words (eg. Up/down or in/out)
• Excessive tripping, bumping and falling over
• Enhanced creativity, often good at drawing, good
sense of colour
• Obvious good and bad days for no apparent reason
• Aptitude for constructional or technical toys (eg.
computers and lego)
• Enjoys being read to, but no interest in letters or
• Difficulty learning the words to nursery rhymes.
• Difficulty with odd-one out games (eg. cat, mat,
• Difficulty with rhyming words.
• Bottom shuffler, not crawler
• Difficulty with sequencing
• Confusion of letters similar
in shape (eg d and b, u and n)
• Confusion of letters similar in sound.
• Reversals, was becomes saw
• Transposals, left becomes felt, auction becomes
• Omission or insertion of words
• Repetition of a word or phrase
• Changing the sequence of words, she is becomes is
• Confusion of small words, of, for, from etc.
• Bizarre spelling
• Difficulty in keeping correct place on line.
• Difficulty between switching from the end of one
line to the beginning of the next.
• No expression, or intonation in the wrong place.
• Difficulty understanding a passage, even when it
has been correctly read.
• Faulty auditory sequence, Roman merains, instead of
• Mispronouncing some words, remember instead of
• Difficulty in sounding out unfamiliar words.
• For shortening, remember instead of remember.
• Fusion (up).
• Repetition of a word, or words.
• Capitals left out, or in the wrong places.
• I's not dotted, t's not crossed, i's crossed.
• Badly formed letters, or if shape is correct,
• Difficulty in keeping to the line.
• Omission of punctuation, confusion over punctuation
• Odd pencil grip.
• Difficulty in copying from the blackboard.
• Late in learning to speak
• Difficulty in repeating long words (eg. unanimous
• Confusion between right and left, east and west, up
and down etc.
• Difficulty in sequencing, alphabet, months in the
• Difficulty in learning tables, or doing mental
• Slow in looking up words in a dictionary, or names
in a telephone book.
• Poor concentration and memory.
• Difficulty in interpreting other symbols, figures,
notes in music, morse etc.
• Late in learning to tell the time and do things
like tie shoelaces.
• Difficulty with concepts such as in-on-under and
• Other poor readers or bad spellers in the family.
Left handed or mixed laterality in the child.
• Particular artistic or mechanical talents
Secondary School On-wards
• Slow reading rate
• Embarrassment at reading aloud, and use of
• No reading for pleasure
• Needs to read twice, once to decode, and a second
for the meaning
• May have mastered reading, but poor spelling and
• Difficulties in taking notes, can't listen and
• No logical order in essays
• Top set for science, bottom for English. Remedial
English lessons, but not a slow learner
• Foreign languages a problem
• Can easily follow diagrams (eg. electrical
• Loses concentration easily
• Dis-organised, difficulty in planning time and
keeping track of materials
• Work is very erratic, good and bad days