Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder characterized by an impaired ability to recognize words, slow and hesitantreading, and poor reading comprehension.
This neurodevelopmental disorder is estimated to affect approximately one in ten children, there by leading to severe difficulties in school. Therefore, detecting this disorder early is important in order to deal with this situation and improve learning.
Dyslexia: Meaning and Treatment
Most common dyslexia symptoms
Dyslexia does not only refer to difficulties in learning to read and write,but people with this disorder may also experience processing speed problems, difficulties with motor skills, and issues with visual and/or auditory perception.Individuals with this disorder mayas well havedifficulties with short-term memory, organization, sequencing, and spoken language.
The most common signs of dyslexia are outlined below. It is important, however, to point out that every case of this disorder is unique and as such, someone with this disorder may not exhibit all the following symptoms:
- Laterality/directionality problems
- Spatial/temporal difficulties
- Confusing similar-sounding words
- Difficulty with articulation or pronunciation
- Transposing and reversing letters and numbers
- Reading is labored and filled with errors
- Concentration problems whenreading or writing
- Difficulty following instructions or learning routines
- Balance difficulties
- Difficulty organizing thoughts or ideas
- Short-term memory issues
- Difficulty staying focused
- Difficulty with math skills
- In some cases–especially in poorly-managed ones–dyslexic individuals have speech difficulties.
Types of dyslexia
To make a classification of it, we will firstmake a distinction between two types: acquired and developmental.
- Acquired: caused by brain damage.
- Developmental: not caused by a sudden brain insult. The most common type to affect school age children.
There is as well another possible classification based on the patient’s predominant deficits:
- Phonological an impairment in the phonological or sublexical route. Phonological dyslexic patients read via the lexical route and infer the words (e.g.: reading “cat” for “cut” and “dog” for “log”). Children can read familiar words, butfail to readnew, unfamiliar words, andpseudowords or nonwords.
- Surface:an impairment in the visual or lexical route. Surface dyslexic patients read via the sublexical route. Children can read regular words, but have trouble reading words that are irregular (e.g.: yacht or debt). The reading speed of these children decreases with increased word length; they make mistakes that involve omission, addition, or substitution of letters; and they often have difficulty distinguishing homophones (e.g.: hear and here).
- Deep: a deficit to both the lexical and the sublexical reading systems (visual and phonological routes). Deep dyslexic patients make many semantic errors and visual errors.