What is Dyslexia?
It’s estimated that 15 - 20% of the population is dyslexic. (Shaywitz 2003) Undiagnosed or without special instruction, dyslexia can lead to frustration, school failure, and low self-esteem.The word 'dys' means difficulty and 'lexia' means with words. So dyslexia literally means trouble with words. Children with dyslexia may have some of the following characteristics:
Reverses letters in reading and writing
Omits words in reading and writing
Has difficulty converting sounds into letters or words
Has difficulty using sounds to create words
Has difficulty recalling sounds and letters from memory
Has difficulty perceiving meaning from letters and words.
Individuals with dyslexia have trouble processing language (expressive, receptive, oral and/or written) despite having average to above average intelligence. It is a language processing disorder and can range from mild to severe. Difficulties with the alphabet, reading, spelling, writing and/or comprehension are common. Many individuals with dyslexia cannot read on grade level or cannot read at all.
Dyslexic brains work differently than 80% - 85% of the population. When reading or writing, individuals with dyslexia access a part of the brain not commonly used. Consequently, it often takes them longer to access and process information than their peers.(Shaywitz 2003) When using a multi sensory approach such as Orton-Gillingham, new neural pathways are created in the brain so information can be accessed more quickly and efficiently. As a result, reading and spelling become more fluent and automatic.
"Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in relation to an individual's higher level of intelligence. While those with dyslexia are slow readers, they also, paradoxically, are often very fast and creative thinkers."
Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity