Dyslexia is a form of learning disability that affects how a person reads and spells words.
The symptoms of dyslexia can range from mild to severe and can lead to difficulty with certain parts of reading, writing and speech. In particular, a person with dyslexia may experience difficulty with the following:
Dyslexia does not affect a person’s intelligence and children with all levels of IQ can be affected by the condition. A dyslexic child’s ability to read or write is determined by the severity of their condition rather than by their intelligence level.
Dyslexia is one of the most common forms of learning disability. Around 10% of all people in the United Kingdom have some degree of dyslexia. The exact cause of this condition is not known but it is generally thought to run in families. Research has identified six genes that may contribute to the development of dyslexia, although the condition is thought to be caused by a combination of factors.
Dyslexia may be difficult to diagnose when a child is very young but the condition is generally diagnosed based on the problems faced by a child as they begin to learn the letters of the alphabet and start to use words.
The treatment approach varies, depending on the severity of the condition. There are a range of educational programmes and interventions available to help improve reading and spelling ability and the earlier these interventions are adopted, the more chance the child has of improving these abilities. The majority of children respond well to interventions and go on to progress in their learning, but other children continue to experience reading and writing difficulties and will require more intensive and longer term support.