Dyslexia is lifelong and affects approximately 10% of the population regardless of ability, race and background.

Each person has their own experience of dyslexia and will have varied needs but share common difficulties.

Reading & Understanding

Dyslexia affects the development of reading, writing and spelling skills (and often mathematical skills) due to difficulties with the way information is processed, and often the impact of difficulties with memory and speed of processing.

Seeing & Listening

Difficulties with visual or auditory information means learning to read and spell accurately and fluently is more effort for those with dyslexia and whilst most successfully learn to read, it can take longer, remain slow and require a great deal of concentration and effort which is tiring.

Memory

Memory issues, both short term memory and working memory, affect how much information can be held on to and processed and this can impact a range of activities at home, in education and at work.

Organisation

Organisation, sequencing and time management often require extra effort and methods to compensate for difficulties.

People with dyslexia develop methods of overcoming their difficulties with a range of strategies and ways to achieve tasks.

With specialist teaching these skills and approaches can be developed to aid learning.

Definition of Dyslexia

The British Dyslexia Association definition adopts Sir Jim Rose’s description

'Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

  • Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
  • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.'

In addition to these characteristics, the British Dyslexia Association acknowledges the visual and auditory processing difficulties that some individuals with dyslexia can experience, and points out that dyslexic readers can show a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process. Some also have strengths in other areas, such as design, problem solving, creative skills, interactive skills and oral skills.