What does the word dyslexia mean?
The word dyslexia comes from the Greek words, ‘dys’ meaning difficult and ‘lexia’ meaning word – a difficulty with words! The first diagnosis was made by Dr. W. Pringle in 1896, when he described a boy as being intelligent and quick at games, but has an inability to learn to read.
What is dyslexia?
The British Dyslexia Association describes dyslexia as:-…a combination of abilities and difficulties that affects the learning process in one or more of reading, writing and spelling. Accompanying weaknesses may be identified in areas of speed of processing, short-term memory, sequencing and organisation, auditory and /or visual perception, spoken language and motor skills; It is particularly related to mastering and using written language, which may include alphabetic, numeric and musical notation.
What is the cause of dyslexia?
The cause of dyslexia is not clear and many leading experts have conflicting views. One of the main views is that a person with dyslexia has stronger right hemisphere skills that may disadvantage them in reading and spelling which is a left hemisphere skill. Dyslexia can occur despite normal intellectual ability and teaching. It is independent of socio-economic or language background. (Peer, 2003, Dyslexia Handbook 2004: BDA 2003).
Does dyslexia affect everyone in the same way?
Dyslexia does not affect all people in the same way and therefore is not always easy to identify. Therefore a range of assessment methods are recommend to complement each other, including IQ, maths, reading, spelling, non-verbal and verbal reasoning.
Dyslexia is not a condition that can be cured but with specialised support, strategies can be learnt to overcome difficulties and help lead to achievement. Having dyslexia does not mean a person can not succeed academically and many successful people (including Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and Einstein) have overcome their difficulties with dyslexia to enable them to succeed in their chosen careers.