What is Dyslexia?
“The differences are personal,
The diagnosis is clinical.
The treatment is educational,
The understanding is scientific.”
– Margaret Byrd Rawson and Roger Saunders (1998)
The word dyslexia comes from the Greek – dys meaning difficulty and lex (legein) meaning speak; hence dyslexia can be defined in its simplest form as difficulty with words or languages. While this is helpful as it describes what every dyslexic has in common, it does not tell the whole story.
Dyslexia is a term for a range of variable ability for language acquisition. It is not a disease, defect or abnormality. Rather it can be seen as a development variation in the way a person learns language skills.
It is a handicapping condition in our modern world where written language is one skill in which everyone is expected to master or be left behind in the quest for knowledge and advancement.
Although dyslexia is a neurological based learning disorder, the treatment is educational. Hence no child or adult need fail because of dyslexia. Treatment should be given as early as possible. Early intervention means there will be less catching up to do.
What is the nature of a dyslexic learner? How do we recognize and identify a dyslexic learner?
A dyslexic learner :
Thinks and learns differently
Has normal sensory acuity both visual and auditory
Is average or above average in intelligence
Has difficulty in acquiring reading and spelling skills by ordinary school methods