The Chambers Pocket 20th Century Dictionary, defines the term “dyslexia” as a “great difficulty in learning to read or spell, not caused by a lack of intelligence”. One definition, which I feel most aptly describes this specific learning difficulty is the definition provided by the World Federation of Neurologists (1968). Dyslexia is “a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio-cultural opportunity. It is dependent upon fundamental disabilities which are frequently constitutional in origin”.
What this means is that, dyslexics are individuals who have an average or above average intelligence quotients. They are also people who have had opportunity to be schooled. But, what makes learning to read and spell difficult for them is a deficit with language processing.
A British survey showed that 5-10% of all children are dyslexics, making it the single most common learning disorder in children today. Individuals with dyslexia have neither profound sensory or neurological disabilities nor do they present with serious visual or auditory impairments.
More often than not, they show no signs of difficulties in other areas of the curriculum, for example in understanding concepts in Mathematics, Science, Economics, Art or Geography. They only have trouble with dealing with the language aspects.
A very small percentage of dyslexics have some problems with numerics too, in addition to the reading, writing and spelling problems. This is known as dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is not as common as dyslexia.
To date, there is still no known cause for dyslexia. Many arguments have been put forth as to whether it is neurological or cognitive (learning) in nature. Though the cause is not known, many other aspects of this learning difficulty have been established. It has been agreed upon, by all parties that all dyslexics have phonological and language process deficits. Phonological deficit is a defect in...