The British Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as “A learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.”
A person with dyslexia may mix up letters within words and words within sentences while reading and/or spelling. There is a common misconception that dyslexia only
affects a person’s ability to read and write. In reality, dyslexia can affect memory, organisation, time-keeping, concentration, multi-tasking and communication.
Dyslexia affects individuals in different ways and by varying degrees, so it is classed as a spectrum difficulty. The British Dyslexia Association states that around 10% of
the population have dyslexia, 4% of whom have severe dyslexia. It is one of a family of ‘Specific Learning Difficulties’. These are characterised by a
person having difficulties in areas such as working memory, auditory processing and phonological awareness (the sound structure of words). The difficulties are
neurological and affect the way the brain receives, processes and learns information.
Specific learning difficulties may occur on their own or together. The other SpLDs which may sometimes occur with dyslexia are:
- Visual stress (where words lack clarity or stability).
- Dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorder (this can affect fine and gross motor control which may lead to poor handwriting).
- Dyscalculia (a difficulty with mathematics and the concept of numbers).
- ADHD (a difficulty with maintaining attention and concentrating).