Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. It is likely to be present at birth and to be lifelong in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed, and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual’s other cognitive abilities. It tends to be resistant to conventional teaching methods, but its effects can be mitigated by appropriately specific intervention, including the application of information technology and supportive counselling.
- Dyslexia varies in severity and often occurs alongside other specific learning difficulties, such as dyspraxia or ADHD.
- Britain has two million severely dyslexic people, roughly 4% of the population, including some 375,000 school children. A further three million people have mild to moderate forms of dyslexia.
- Dyslexia is not related to race or social background and it occurs across the ability spectrum, although it may be more easily detected in those of above average intelligence.
- Dyslexia tends to run in families, with three times as many boys as girls affected.
- Dyslexia is not the result of emotional problems.
- Dyslexia cannot be cured but early intervention with the appropriate teaching strategies and technological support, can prevent the huge personal, social and economic costs of later difficulties.