a language based learning disability. For those who are just starting to explore dyslexia and have concerns about their child’s struggle in school, understanding what dyslexia is and is NOT is key to getting the right help.
The formal definition of dyslexia according to the International Dyslexia Association is: Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 classroom instruction.
Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. This definition can be intimidating. However it also provides insight into the difficulty of diagnosing dyslexia. Most importantly dyslexia is a phonological processing deficit. Having dyslexia does not mean a child cannot learn or they lack intelligence. In fact, most dyslexics are highly intelligent.
A comprehensive evaluation, the correct diagnosis, and consistent, intensive instruction in a research-based Orton Gillingham program is vital to ensuring that students get the help they need.