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.
Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life.
It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment, and in its more severe forms, will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services.
People with dyslexia can also have problems with spoken language, even after they have been exposed to good language models in their homes and good language instruction in school.
They may find it difficult to express themselves clearly, or to fully comprehend what others mean when they speak.
Such language problems are often difficult to recognize, but they can lead to major problems in school, in the workplace, and in relating to other people.
The effects of dyslexia reach well beyond the classroom.
Dyslexia can also affect a person’s self-image. Students with dyslexia often end up feeling “dumb” and less capable than they actually are.
After experiencing a great deal of stress due to academic problems, a student may become discouraged about continuing in school.
Perhaps as many as 15–20% of the population as a whole—have some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words. Not all of these will qualify for special education, but they are likely to struggle with many aspects of academic learning and are likely to benefit from systematic, explicit, instruction in reading, writing, and language.
Dyslexia occurs in people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels.
People with dyslexia can be very bright. They are often capable or even gifted in areas such as art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales, and sports.
In addition, dyslexia runs in families; parents with dyslexia are very likely to have children with dyslexia.