Dyslexia Definition


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Dyslexia is a condition that affects millions of people, and a simple dyslexia definition may be termed as “difficulty with words.”

Dyslexia affects the way an individual learns to read. People affected by dyslexia do learn to read but they do so at their own speed and level.

Dyslexia definition from a historical perspective

The National Institute of Health started their research in dyslexia in the 1980’s. Before this period, dyslexia definition was exclusionary in nature. If a child experienced difficulty with reading and the explanation could not be found in poor eye sight, low intelligence, poor hearing, insufficient opportunities for education, or some other cause, then the child was considered to be dyslexic.

However, researchers, parents and teachers did not find this dyslexia definition to be satisfactory. So other dyslexia definition were found, which are used more widely today.

A simple dyslexia definition

A simple dyslexia definition is an inherited condition which causes extreme difficulties in reading, writing and spelling in one’s native language, despite having average intelligence.

A revised dyslexia definition

According to a revised dyslexia definition by the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is often a familial, neurologically based disorder that interferes with language acquisition and processing. Dyslexia varies in its degree of severity, and manifests itself as difficulties in expressive and receptive language and includes phonological processing difficulties with reading, spelling, writing, handwriting and sometimes, arithmetic.

Dyslexia does not result from sensory impairment, lack of motivation, inadequate or insufficient educational or environmental opportunities or other adverse conditions, but it is possible for dyslexia to appear together with such conditions.

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition, but people afflicted with dyslexia often respond very successfully to appropriate and timely intervention.

Research dyslexia definition

The National Institute of Health, in its research dyslexia definition, defined dyslexia as specific learning disability which was neurological in its origin.

Dyslexics experience difficulties with fluent and accurate word recognition and poor decoding and spelling abilities.

The difficulties described result from problems with the phonological aspect of language which is often unrelated to the person’s other cognitive abilities and may be overcome by effective classroom intervention.

Other secondary effects may result in problems with reading comprehension and lowered reading experience which can interfere with the growth of a student’s vocabulary and acquisition of background knowledge.

Dyslexia and learning disability

Learning disability is a category which contains many particular disabilities which make learning difficult; it should not be considered to be a specific term. The definition of learning disability given below is used for educational and other purposes and is not a dyslexia definition. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability.

Learning disability denotes a disorder in the basic processes which are involved in the understanding of written or spoken language. It may result in problems with thinking, listening, speaking, writing, reading or spelling, or the person’s ability in math, despite having average intelligence.

The term learning disability excludes children with learning problems resulting from hearing, visual or physical handicap or emotional disturbance or mental retardation, or children with economic, cultural or environmental disadvantages.


What is Dyslexia