According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is defined as
“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.”
The prevalence of dyslexia is not known for sure. Most experts agree that it affects between 10% to 15% of the
population. There are some who say the number is as low as 5% and some who say it is as high as 20%. (Cowan, 2016)
More About Dyslexia
• Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia is caused by problems with the language processing
system, not the vision system.
• Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with reading, spelling, writing, and pronouncing words.
• Dyslexia can be mild to severe, ranging from minor spelling challenges to a major impact on the ability to learn to
• Many younger students with dyslexia will have difficulty with early speech and language challenges.
• Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a
• In its more severe forms, dyslexia will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra
• A genetic family history of reading problems is associated with a four-times greater risk of dyslexia.
• Dyslexia often occurs with other learning disabilities such as ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and executive
• There are often emotional consequences when students with dyslexia do not get help early. A lack of confidence
builds as soon as students start to realize they are not learning to read as easily as their peers.
• Dyslexia is not a vision problem.
o Eye exercises and vision therapy does not help.
o Colored eyeglasses and colored overlays do not help.
o Changes in size or style of print do not help.
• Dyslexia is NOT seeing words and letters backwards.
• Dyslexia is NOT something that will improve if students just “try harder.”
Dyslexia is not the result of a lack of intelligence – many people with dyslexia are highly intelligent.