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What is Dyslexia?

I think my daughter and/or son might have dyslexia. But what exactly is dyslexia? How do I know for sure? What symptoms would I see? Isn’t dyslexia when you see words backwards?

When parents initially contact me for information, these are generally the types of questions they first ask. In this article, I will take some time to answer these questions. It is my hope that this information will offer more clarity on the subject and demystify some of the common myths that continue to be prevalent about dyslexia. First, let’s take a look at how dyslexia is defined.

Dyslexia Defined
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) defines dyslexia in the following way:

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Put simply, dyslexia is an inherited learning disability that runs in families. Dyslexia literally means "difficulty with language." Dyslexia varies in severity and symptom from one person to the next and can affect reading, spelling, writing, handwriting, word retrieval, articulation, directionality, and the ability to remember rote facts.

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