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What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. It's a specific learning difficulty, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning difficulty, intelligence isn't affected.

Ten percent of the population are believed to be dyslexic, but it is still often poorly understood. With the right support, the strengths and talents of dyslexic people can really shine.

How is it diagnosed?

There are several tools available that can be used to help give an indication of possible dyslexic difficulties. These screening tests and checklists can be a great help in order to ensure support is put in place quickly, but they can't provide a diagnosis.

Dyslexia can only be formally diagnosed through a Diagnostic Assessment carried out by a certified assessor.

Dyslexia-is-real

What are the traits of dyslexia?

Traits of dyslexia usually become more obvious when children start school and begin to focus more on learning how to read and write.

Traits of dyslexia in children aged 5 to 12 include:

  • problems learning the names and sounds of letters
  • spelling that's unpredictable and inconsistent
  • putting letters and figures the wrong way round (such as writing "6" instead of "9", or "b" instead of "d")
  • confusing the order of letters in words
  • reading slowly or making errors when reading aloud
  • visual disturbances when reading (for example, a child may describe letters and words as seeming to move around or appear blurred)
  • answering questions well orally, but having difficulty writing the answer down
  • difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions
  • struggling to learn sequences, such as days of the week or the alphabet
  • slow writing speed
  • poor handwriting
  • problems copying written language and taking longer than normal to complete written work
  • poor phonological awareness (ability to recognise that words are made up of smaller units of sound (phonemes)

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