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What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word reading and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language and is unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and classroom instruction. A secondary consequence is often problems in reading comprehension.

Although all individuals with dyslexia have difficulties in language processing and learning, the symptoms and severity can be quite different.  Individuals with dyslexia learn some academic skills at a level lower than expected but can do other things quite well.  They may be talented in the arts, skilled in technology, or adept with spatial relationships. 

Dyslexia is now firmly established as a congenital and developmental condition.  Inherited factors seem to play a role, as there is often a family history of reading problems.


• Difficulty producing rhyming words
• Difficulty learning letters and writing them in order
• Reads word correctly on one page, but not on the next
• Knows phonics, but cannot sound out an unknown word
• Slow, inaccurate and labored reading
• Adds or leaves out letters in words (e.g., star for stair)
• Substitutes similar looking words (e.g., house for horse)
• Confuses the order of letters in words
• When reading aloud, ignores punctuation
• Listening comprehension is better than reading comprehension 
• Memorizes the spelling words, but forgets them after a short while
• Misspells even while copying from the board or a book
• Has problems stating thoughts in an organized way