What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language-based reading disorder for which the primary characteristic is poor reading fluency (see Overcoming Dyslexia, by Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Yale Child Study Center). In younger children learning to read may be slow and difficult. Handwriting, spelling, and fluent recall of math facts may also be problematic. In preschool and kindergarten children, the difficulty may be seen with rhyming, articulating words, especially multi-syllable words, naming letters, and colors, and there is often a family history of reading or spelling problems. For some children, their orthographic memory (visual memory for conventional spelling patterns) is primarily affected. Such students spell quite well phonetically, but not accurately, and their reading fluency is affected. Dyslexia may be mild, moderate, or severe, and for some very bright individuals, their Dyslexia may go undetected for many years. Such a phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “Stealth Dyslexia.” Dyslexia can be identified at any age and a combination of learning strategies, tools, and accommodations can eliminate the barrier that this learning difference may impose.

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