Reading Disability vs. Dyslexia

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I’d like to share a quick story with you. A few years ago I was asked by a parent to communicate with their child’s educational psychologist regarding recent testing. The psychologist explained the student’s strengths and weaknesses to me and proceeded to say the child was diagnosed with a reading disability. When I heard this I asked if he felt that my student was dyslexic. I was certain this particular student had dyslexia, but the psychologist had not specifically used the term, “dyslexia”. He said, “Yes, of course he’s dyslexic. Like I said he has a reading disability.”

Do you see a problem with this? It can be confusing when precise terms are not used. How someone understands and helps a student may be different depending on the words used to describe the problem and the knowledge of the listener.

In my experience, the term reading disability is often used instead of the term dyslexia. There are various reasons for this, but it’s important to know that these terms often refer to the same struggles.

Get the facts! Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, yet it is the most misunderstood and underserved. Learn how to drive your child’s instruction with the latest research and help them achieve the best results. Request a free copy of our most popular are the most often requested resources. If you have a struggling reader or speller at home, these guides may shed some light on questions that you have.