Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects the ability to recognize words and decode their meaning. People with dyslexia experience difficulty processing the auditory components of language, which may leave them unable to comprehend and communicate the words they read, or cause them to read words or letters differently from how they are written.
What Causes Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is often diagnosed in childhood, and its origins are believed to be neurological. Dyslexia can also occur as a result of brain injuries or other learning disabilities that hinder language processing skills.
What are the Symptoms of Dyslexia?
The symptoms of dyslexia include:
- Development of speech is slow and difficult
- Organizing and comprehending written and spoken language is a challenge
- Struggles to learn letters and their corresponding sounds
- Reads words or parts of words backward
- Experiences difficulty with concepts such as rhyming
- Exhibits poor spelling skills
- Displays difficulty with rhythm-based activities like clapping along to music
Visual problems can also manifest as symptoms of dyslexia, so it is important that people diagnosed with dyslexia undergo vision testing to ensure that there is not a physical cause of symptoms. Difficulty concentrating, depression, and other mental health conditions may make dyslexia worse if the appropriate interventions are not in place to assist with learning difficulties.
Is There Treatment for Dyslexia?
Early intervention greatly increases the ability of people with dyslexia to successfully learn to read, write, and speak clearly and effectively. Treatment depends upon the degree of dyslexia and whether there are other learning disabilities present. Tutoring, remedial reading classes, and additional time to take tests can all help people with dyslexia overcome their disability. While most individuals with dyslexia eventually overcome their learning difficulties, they may struggle with certain aspects of language processing and comprehension for the duration of their lives.
Does Dyslexia Prevent People from Being Successful?
Many people who are diagnosed with dyslexia have gone on to become very successful. In some cases, there is a correlation between dyslexia and above-average intelligence.
Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein both had dyslexia, as did molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner Carol Greider. Richard Branson, the well-known billionaire and entrepreneur, has also achieved great success in spite of the challenges presented by dyslexia.
- A.D.A.M. Medical Board. (2010, November 18). Developmental reading disorder. PubMed Health. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002379/
- American Psychological Association. APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009. Print.
- Famous People with the Gift of Dyslexia. (n.d.). Famous People with the Gift of Dyslexia. Retrieved from http://www.dyslexia.com/famous.htm
- International Dyslexia Association. What is dyslexia? Retrieved from http://www.interdys.org/FAQWhatIs.htm
- Miller, G. (2014, February 5). What musicians can tell us about dyslexia and the brain. Wired.com. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/02/dyslexic-musicians/?cid=18114044
Last Updated: 08-6-2015
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