What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia covers a range of difficulties that can affect a personís ability to learn to read and write. It is neurological in origin and sometimes runs in families.
To get an idea of how it fits together with other issues look at this 'signs and symptoms' graphic.
What affect can it have?
Dyslexia can influence all aspects of life. Progress at school relies on being able to read and write, and if you canít, learning in all areas will be affected.
We need these core skills to properly understand written information, use technology and communicate. Not being able to read and write well, often limits job prospects and unsurprisingly has a negative impact on self-esteem.
Do people grow out of it?
People donít grow out of having dyslexia, but with the right help and support they can find strategies to overcome it. Dyslexia neednít prevent a person from achieving their goals.
There are people in all career areas with dyslexia Ė including many teachers!
Can anything be done about it?
Yes, there are lots of ways to help. Specialist one-to-one teaching from a qualified practitioner can help students master the basics and catch up with their peers. Dyslexia friendly teaching can really help too.
Do coloured lenses work?
Coloured lenses or overlays can help some people read more fluently and with less discomfort. There is considerable debate about why. Read this University of Essex article for further information.
Do many people have Dyslexia?
More than you think - about 10% of people in Britain are dyslexic. Interestingly it's estimated that 20% of entrepreneurs (e.g. Richard Branson, James Dyson & Mark Zuckerberg) are dyslexic as well - although perhaps smart people are drawn to business, engineering and IT because there is less reading involved.
Why do people need an assessment?
An assessment report has many uses, for example to identify areas of weakness and ways to help: in particular suggestions are aimed at a studentís individual needs.
A report is also required by a school/college Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) so that a student can access concessions like extra time, or a 'reader' in exams.
Finally, many parents and students are relieved when dyslexia is identified because it confirms that there is a real reason for the problems that theyíve been having.
P.S. There's a mountain of information on dyslexia. However a good place to start is this NHS website.
© MMXVI Anna Parkinson