The Dyslexia Guide
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...Dyslexia Information...

  1. What is dyslexia?
  2. Who suffers from it?
  3. How does it affect their lives?
  4. How does the public perceive dyslexia?
  5. How does dyslexia manifest itself?
  6. What are the tell tale signs of dyslexia?
  7. Who else has dyslexia?
  8. Is dyslexia fully understood?
  9. Can dyslexia be treated with drugs?
  10. What other conditions are similar or close to dyslexia?
  11. Is dyslexia contagious?
  12. Is dyslexia hereditary?
  13. Is dyslexia black and white?
  14. Can a person be a mildly dyslexic?
  15. Is dyslexia a medical condition?
  16. Should dyslexia be ignored?
  17. Is dyslexia a subject of research?
  18. Do employers recognise dyslexia?
  19. Is dyslexia a learning difficulty?
  20. What is Meares-Irlen Syndrome?

1. What is dyslexia? Page Top
Dyslexia can be defined as a specific learning difficulty in reading, spelling or writing or in a combination of two or all three of these areas due to a difference in the part of the brain which process language.
2. Who suffers from it? Page Top
Government statistics suggest about 4% of the population suffer from Dyslexia though other sources closer to the sufferers would put that figure at closer to 20%.
It affects all ages with signs evident in early infancy. Not everyone is affected the same way or to the same degree.
3. How does it affect their lives? Page Top
The affect on lives depends on the severity of the problem. A sufferer can find it difficult to organise himself, follow instructions, map read and give directions.
At school it can lead to underachievement, low self esteem, accusations of not listening, not concentrating or laziness and can resort to bad behaviours and work avoidance.
4. How does the public perceive dyslexia? Page Top
Quit possibly, like everything else, the public does not know a lot about dyslexia until it affects one of their own. It is generally thought of as simply reading and spelling difficulties.
The underlying implications are not generally understood or thought about. Poor spelling and reading affect all areas of the curriculum not just literacy.
5. How does dyslexia manifest itself? Page Top
Dyslexia manifests itself in many ways. There is no single simple manifestation of dyslexia. There is a long list of about 20 signs that may point to a person having a specific learning difficulty.
No sufferer manifests every point on the list but would be expected to display about 75% of them before being labelled dyslexic.
6. What are the tell tale signs of dyslexia? Page Top
There are many tell tale signs of dyslexia. Some are:-
Difficulty telling left from right.
Difficulty with shoelaces and ball catching.
Persistent difficulty with reading and written language.
Speech problems.
Confusion of similar letter shapes. e.g. b / d / p / q.
Confusion with similar sounding letters. e.g. d / t, v / f, p/b.
Reversal of letters, numbers and whole words.
Transposing letters. e.g. pots / stop / spot.
Omission of small words e.g. the / to / a/ so /
Difficulty reading words such as - who, where, how
Difficulty with sequences e.g. tables, months of the year, days of the week, alphabet.
7. Who else has dyslexia? Page Top
The list of people, past and present, who are diagnosed dyslexics reads like a who's who of public figures. This list includes Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Jackie Stewart & Cher.
Like most conditions, dyslexia has no respect for class, wealth or position. It affects rich and poor, high and low, famous and ordinary alike. The true dyslexic will be of good, average or above average intelligence.
Other conditions manifest similar difficulties in learning as those shown by dyslexics. Children who are dyspraxic or of low cognitive ability will have similar learning difficulties. It is possible to be a slow learner
8. Is dyslexia fully understood? Page Top
Dyslexia is understood by many. However, as with many conditions, research is always being carried out and advances made.
9. Can dyslexia be treated with drugs? Page Top
Research is still being carried out but at the moment there is no 'magic' cure.
10. What other conditions are similar or close to dyslexia? Page Top
Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dyspraxia) has much in common with dyslexia.
11. Is dyslexia contagious? Page Top
No
12. Is dyslexia hereditary? Page Top
Yes. It is usually present in the family.
13. Is dyslexia black and white? Page Top
No. In some cases it can be quite difficult to come to a specific diagnosis. In others it is much more straightforward.
14. Can a person be a mildly dyslexic? Page Top
Yes. Not everyone displays all of the symptoms.
15. Is dyslexia a medical condition? Page Top
Dyslexia is usually inherited.
16. Should dyslexia be ignored? Page Top
Never
17. Is dyslexia a subject of research? Page Top
Research is ongoing in abundance.
18. Do employers recognise dyslexia? Page Top
Some do, some don't. Awareness raising is ongoing.
19. Is dyslexia a learning difficulty? Page Top
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty.
20. What is Meares-Irlen Syndrome? Page Top
This is sometimes used to refer to the collection of symptoms and signs of visual fatigue when reading that are reduced when colour is used as therapy. Other terms are Irlen syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.
Some of the main symptoms are:- glare from the page; sore eyes when reading; headaches when reading; and, movement/blurring of print.
Some of the signs may be:- rubbing eyes; excessive blinking; poor concentration; inefficient reading; and, difficulty in keeping place.
Children with reading difficulty are more likely than others to report visual perceptual distortion, and to benefit from coloured overlays.

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