What is Dyslexia?

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Dyslexia is an inherited specific learning disability that is rooted neurologically.  It is characterized by difficulties with word recognition, reading, poor spelling, difficulties in expressive writing, dysgraphia, and sometimes remembering basic math facts.   These struggles are due to a deficit in the phonological component of the language area of the brain.

Dyslexia is not the result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inadequate instructional opportunities, or any other conditions, but may occur together with these issues.  Although dyslexia is an individual lifelong journey, those with dyslexia usually respond successfully to timely and appropriate tutoring.

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Classic Warning Signs:

Let’s remember . . . God creates everyone unique and different therefore no two people with dyslexia are exactly alike.  Dyslexia ranges from mild to moderate to severe. Some people with dyslexia also have ADD/ADHD.

Someone with dyslexia may not have every single symptom listed below, and some more than others. But chances are they will have many on this list of symptoms. Professional testers look for a gathering of symptoms in the following areas. If a child has 3 or more of the following warning signs, encourage that child’s parents and teachers to learn more about dyslexia.

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In Preschool

  • delayed speech

  • mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words

  • chronic ear infections

  • stuttering

  • constant confusion of left versus right

  • late establishing a dominant hand

  • difficulty learning to tie shoes

  • trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet

  • can’t create words that rhyme

  • a close relative with dyslexia

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In Elementary School

  • dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)

  •  letter or number reversals continuing past the end of first grade

  •  extreme difficulty learning cursive

  •  slow, choppy, inaccurate reading:

  •  terrible spelling

  •  often can’t remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)

  •  difficulty telling time with a clock with hands

  •  trouble with math (steps / directionality)

  •  when speaking, difficulty finding the correct word

  •     *common sayings come out slightly twisted

  •  extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk

  •  dreads going to school

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In Adults

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  • slow reader

  •  may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to   understand it

  •  terrible speller

  •  difficulty putting thoughts onto paper

  •  dreads writing memos or letters

  •  still has difficulty with right versus left

  •  often gets lost, even in a familiar city

  •  sometimes confuses b and d, especially  when tired or sick

  •   can’t remember names even if they have  known the person for a long time

A student struggling with reading, unable to sound out unknown words, difficulty spelling, unable to express their thoughts on paper in acceptable form, and 3 or more of these classic warning signs, is worthy of being evaluated for dyslexia.  Many still believe that dyslexia is due to a visual processing problem, yet research has proven that most of their difficulty is due to auditory processing problems.  Testing phonic awareness, auditory memory size, word retrieval, memory of sequential or random facts, and reading fluency is the type of combination of testing used for dyslexia.  A weakness in one or more of these auditory processing areas is a hallmark of dyslexia.


Dyslexia is lifelong learning challenge but does not have to be a handicap.  Students can get help and can learn to read, write, & spell efficiently.  But it is not a quick fix and will take time to retrain the brain the way that they can learn. It can take 1-3 years to get a child reading at their grade level depending on the severity, frequency of tutoring, intervention, and other issues.


Learning Outside the Lines

Book by David Cole and Jonathan Mooney


The Dyslexic Advantage

Book by Brock Eide and Fernette Eide


The Alphabet War

Book by Diane Burton Robb


The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan

Book by Ben Foss


Lily and the Mixed-Up Letters

Book by Deborah Hodge


Dyslexia Wonders

Book by Jennifer Smith


It's Called Dyslexia

Book by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

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For more information on what is Dyslexia refer to HERE,  HERE and HERE.


Testing information and How to Get Help go to HERE.


Free on-line videos for more information on Dyslexia:

  Go to: HERE and HERE.