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Overview :

The word dyslexia is derived from the Greek word, dys (meaning poor or inadequate) and the word lexis (meaning words or language).

The National Institutes of Health estimates that about 15% of the United States population is affected by learning disabilities, mostly with problems in language and reading. The condition appears in all ages, races, and income levels. Dyslexia is not a disease, but describes rather a different kind of mind that learns in a different way from other people. Many people with the condition are gifted and very productive; dyslexia is not at all linked to low intelligence. In fact, intelligence has nothing to do with dyslexia.

Dyslexic children seem to have trouble learning early reading skills, problems hearing individual sounds in words, analyzing whole words in parts, and blending sounds into words. Letters such as "d" and "b" may be confused.

When a person is dyslexic, there is often an unexpected difference between achievement and aptitude. However, each person with dyslexia has different strengths and weaknesses, although many have unusual talents in art, athletics, architecture, graphics, drama, music, or engineering. These special talents are often in areas that require the ability to integrate sight, spatial skills, and coordination.

Often, a person with dyslexia has a problem translating language into thought (such as in listening or reading), or translating thought into language (such as in writing or speaking).

Common characteristics include problems with:

  • identifying single words
  • understanding sounds in words, sound order, or rhymes
  • spelling
  • transposing letters in words
  • handwriting
  • reading comprehension
  • delayed spoken language
  • confusion with directions, or right/left handedness
  • confusion with opposites (up/down, early/late, and so on)
  • mathematics

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