What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing and pronouncing words. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to get attuned to the typical instructional environment, academically.
What causes dyslexia?
The exact causes of dyslexia are still not completely clear, but brain imagery studies show differences in the way the brain of a dyslexic person develops and functions. It has been found that it is also brought about either through inherited traits (developmental dyslexia) or by early ear infections such as 'glue ear' which cause hearing loss (acquired dyslexia). Family studies of dyslexia indicate that 20% to 40% of children born to a parent with dyslexia will also be dyslexic. In addition, research shows that 30% to 50% of the siblings of a child with dyslexia will themselves have dyslexia. While dyslexia is heritable, genes are not the only factor influencing its occurrence.
What are the general symptoms of dyslexia?
Children or students who are dyslexic have phonological difficulties, that is, they find it difficult to sort out the sounds within words. This means that they have problems with reading, writing and spelling. The majority of dyslexic children have difficulty with text, memory and the sequencing processes of basic mathematics.
What are the early signs of dyslexia in a child?
Children with dyslexia often show delayed language development. They may start talking late or have unusual problems in grammar (e.g. "Going me park"). They may also have problems understanding and enjoying rhymes or in recognising the words that begin with the same sound. They may be slow in learning the letters of the alphabet and corresponding sounds. They may also have difficulty remembering instructions or directions.