Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes itself manifest primarily as a difficulty with the visual notation of speech or written language, particularly with reading the various man made writing systems. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. This suggests that dyslexia results from differences in how the brain processes written and spoken language.
Dyslexia can be difficult to recognize before your child enters school, but some early clues may indicate a problem. If your young child begins talking late, adds new words slowly and has difficulty rhyming, he or she may be at increased risk of dyslexia.
Once your child is in school, dyslexia symptoms may become more apparent, including:
- The inability to recognize words and letters on a printed page
- A reading ability level well below the expected level for the age of your child
There is no cure for dyslexia, but dyslexic individuals can learn to read and write with appropriate educational support.
For Alphabet writing systems, the fundamental aim is to increase a child's awareness of correspondences between graphemes and phonemes, and to relate these to reading and spelling. It has been found that training focused towards visual language and orthographic issues, yields longer-lasting gains than mere oral phonological training.
The best approach is determined by the underlying neurological cause(s) of the dyslexic symptom.
For those with dyslexia, the prognosis is mixed. The disability affects such a wide range of people and produces such different symptoms and varying degrees of severity that predictions are hard to make. The prognosis is generally good, however, for individuals whose dyslexia is identified early, who have supportive family and friends and a strong self-image, and who are involved in a proper remediation program.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support dyslexia research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat dyslexia and other learning disabilities, increasing the understanding of the biological basis of learning disabilities, and exploring the relationship between neurophysiological processes and cognitive functions with regard to reading ability.
Dyslexia at the Mayo Clinic