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What is Dyslexia?
In simple terms, dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read, write, and spell in spite of normal intelligence and adequate instruction. It is caused by the brain's inability to process information received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. It does not mean that thee students are lazy, or not trying hard, or not intelligent. It means that they need to be taught in a different way.
A person with dyslexia will have 3 or more of the following warning signs.
• Delayed speech - not talking at all by 1 year
• Mixing up the sounds or syllables in long words such as "aminal" or "busketti"
• Constant confusion of left versus right
• Late establishing a dominant hand
• Difficulty learning to tie shoes
• Trouble memorizing address, phone number, or the alphabet
• Can't create words that rhyme
In Elementary School:
• Dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)
• Letter or number reversals continuing past first grade
• Extreme difficulty learning cursive
• Slow, choppy, inaccurate reading—guesses based on shape or context, skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of) ignores suffixes, can't sound out unknown words
• Terrible spelling
• Often can't remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they're, there)
• Difficulty telling time on a clock with hands
• Trouble with math memorizing multiplication tables, memorizing asquence of steps, directionality
• Extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk
• Dreads going to school, complains of stomach aches or headaches, nightmares about school
• A close relative with dyslexia - the biggest warning sign of all
In High School and Beyond:
• Limited vocabulary
• Difficulty putting thoughts onto paper, dreads writing papers, memos, and letters
• Unable to master a foreign language
• Difficulty reading printed music
• May have to read a page 2 or 3 times to understand it
• Terrible spelling
• Still has difficulty with left versus right
• Often gets lost, even in a familiar city
• Sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick
• Poor grades in many classes
• May drop out of high school
Facts About Dyslexia
• Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. It can have any of several symptoms, but the most common is a difficulty in identifying the individual sounds in a word and correlating them with the corresponding letter.
• Dyslexia is not due to lack of intelligence. In fact, most dyslexics are of average to above average intelligence.
• About one in five Americans are afflicted with dyslexia. It is the most common learning disability.
• Students do not outgrow dyslexia. There is no cure for dyslexia, but with proper training, students can usually learn to read at grade level. While it is preferable to diagnose the symptoms of dyslexia at an early age, it is never too late for students to learn to read.