Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.The most widely accepted definition of dyslexia, given by Jim Rose in his 2009 report: Identifying and teaching children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties.
In addition to these characteristics, the British Dyslexia Association recognises the visual and auditory processing difficulties that some individuals with dyslexia can experience and points out that dyslexic readers can show a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the whole learning process.
People will dyslexia can show strengths in other areas, such as design, problem solving, creative skills, interactive skills and oral skills. Dyslexic processing can give individuals a leaning towards important abilities in many mental functions, including:
- the ability to perceive relationships like analogies, metaphors, paradoxes, similarities, differences, implications, gaps and imbalances;
- the ability to remember important personal experiences and to understand abstract information in terms of specific examples;
- the ability to perceive and take advantage of subtle patterns in complex and constantly shifting systems or data sets.
It is important to note that dyslexia does not just affect reading and writing and that all people with dyslexia will experience it in different ways, with their own strengths and challenges. However there are common signs. The British Dyslexia Association website has some information of common signs of dyslexia in primary aged children, secondary aged children and adults, taken from the British Dyslexia Association website.
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