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Dyslexia facts

  • Dyslexia is difficulty in learning to read.
  • Dyslexia can be related to hereditary factors or other factors that affect brain development.
  • The precise cause of dyslexia is not fully understood.
  • Diagnosis of dyslexia involves reviewing the child's processing of information from seeing, hearing, and participating in activities.
  • Treatment of dyslexia ideally involves planning between the parent(s) and the teachers.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia has been around for a long time and has been defined in different ways. For example, in 1968, the World Federation of Neurologists defined dyslexia as "a disorder in children who, despite conventional classroom experience, fail to attain the language skills of reading, writing, and spelling commensurate with their intellectual abilities." The International Dyslexia Association offers the following definition of dyslexia:

"Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge."

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children and persists throughout life. The severity of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe. The sooner dyslexia is treated, the more favorable the outcome. However, it is never too late for people with dyslexia to learn to improve their language skills.

Dyslexia can go undetected in the early grades of schooling. Children can become frustrated by the difficulty in learning to read. It is important to note that other problems can disguise dyslexia such as a child may:

  • Show signs of depression and low self-esteem
  • Have behavior problems at home, as well as at school that often manifest
  • Become unmotivated and develop a dislike for school, and their success may be jeopardized if the problem remains untreated
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2015

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Dyslexia Symptoms and Signs

What are the signs of a child learning disability?

There is no one sign that shows a person has a learning disability. Experts look for a noticeable difference between how well a child does in school and how well he or she could do, given his or her intelligence or ability. There are also certain clues that may mean a child has a learning disability. We've listed a few below. Most relate to elementary school tasks, because learning disabilities tend to be identified in elementary school. A child probably won't show all of these signs, or even most of them. However, if a child shows a number of these problems, then parents and the teacher should consider the possibility that the child has a learning disability.