A learning disability characterized by difficulty in reading, spelling, and writing in individuals who have received adequate reading instruction and do not have hearing or vision problems. Those with dyslexia tend to have average to above average intelligence (IQ) and can have mild to severe dyslexia. It is one of the most common learning disabilities, and is more frequently diagnosed in boys. It is also believed to be partly genetic, tending to run in families. Dyslexia may go undiagnosed for some time, masked by depression and behavioral difficulties due to a child’s frustration in being unable to read or write. Those with dyslexia may also deal with poor self-esteem and poor self-image.
Those with dyslexia have difficulty with the spoken word, where they will mix up similar sounding words and phrases (example: the “b” and “d” sounds). One common misconception is that all individuals with dyslexia see letters backwards, but this is not the case and is only one possible symptom. Those with dyslexia also tend to have difficulty in short-term memory recall, meaning they are less able to recall something they have just read or heard. Dyslexia is also frequently associated with other difficulties, including ADHD.
Example: A hardworking child does well in her math and gym classes, but poorly in history, English, and science. She reads far below grade level, and seems to have trouble putting letters in the right order on spelling tests.
There is no cure for dyslexia, but there are techniques that can be used to help the individual overcome some of the difficulties associated with the disability.
Here is a link to the International Dyslexia Association, people who have dyslexia or parents/relatives may want to check out this resource: http://www.interdys.org/
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jul 2012