Dyslexia is a specific type of learning disability that makes
it difficult for the person to sound out words and to read fluently
so that meaning is easily gained. Dyslexics usually have difficulty
with spelling, learning new vocabulary, and getting their thoughts
onto paper in a logical, concise manner. They often have good verbal
skills, however. No two dyslexics are alike---each has his or her
own set of strengths and weaknesses.
The International Dyslexia Association Research Committee and the
National Institutes of Health adopted the following description of
dyslexia as a working definition in April 2002. All statements within
the definition have an empirical basis. The criteria specified in
this definition are dynamic and subject to modification as new data
Dyslexia is one of several distinct learning
disabilities. It is a specific language-based disorder of constitutional
origin characterized by difficulty in single word decoding, usually
reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. These
difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation
to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not
the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment.
Dyslexia is manifested by variable difficulty with different forms
of language, often including, in addition to problems reading,
a conspicuous problem with acquiring proficiency in writing and
Contrary to what many think, dyslexia is not about
reversing letters. Dyslexia is a neurological "glitch" and
has nothing to do with a person's IQ. In fact, many dyslexics display
insightful, impressive talents for "thinking outside of the
Dyslexics never outgrow dyslexia---reading and writing
remain difficult throughout their life---but with specialized tutoring
by a professional trained to work with dyslexics, they can manage
print more effectively.
In addition to dyslexia, the state of Texas recognizes these disorders
related to dyslexia:
- Developmental auditory imperception: difficulty hearing
the difference in sounds in words (e.g., "I resemble that
- Dysphasia: difficulty recalling specific words.
- Developmental dysgraphia: difficulty expressing thoughts
on paper and with the act of handwriting.
- Developmental spelling disorder: difficulty learning