What is Dyslexia?
No single definition currently exists to adequately define dyslexia,
including our own definition. The truth is, at present nobody
really knows exactly what dyslexia is or what causes it. However,
we do know much about the dyslexic condition and as a consequence
dyslexia tends to be described in terms of its symptoms or
alternatively in terms of what it is not. For example 'Dyslexia is
not due to low intelligence' or 'Dyslexia is not a disease, it has
In your search for information you will discover many definitions
and proposed causes of dyslexia. Writers will put forward their own
views and theories, which will generally differ from the views and
theories of others. Understandably, this is often confusing.
However, if you find yourself in this position and are wondering how
on earth you can begin to understand a condition that has no single
definition, do not despair.
Those who work with dyslexic children and adults on a day-to-day
basis quickly learn to recognise the signs of dyslexia. Although no
two dyslexics are the same, all dyslexics share enough common
symptoms to make recognising the condition possible.
Unlike others, we do not wish to attempt to impose one single
definition upon you. Instead we have listed below a few of the
common definitions currently in circulation.
Whichever definition you identify with, if you suspect that you are dyslexic
yourself or that your child may be dyslexic, be totally honest with yourself.
Deep down inside you will known that some kind of problem exists
and that is the first step to resolving it.
Definition 1) Our own simple definition of dyslexia is 'Intelligent, bright or
even gifted individuals, that for no obvious reason, struggle to learn through
the medium of written or spoken language'.
Definition 2) The World Federation of Neurology defines dyslexia as
'a disorder manifested by difficulties in learning to read, despite
conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and socio-cultural
Definition 3) Dyslexia is not just a severe reading disorder
characterised by reversals. It is a syndrome of many and varied
symptoms that affects millions of children and adults.
Definition 4) Dyslexia is the ability to see multidimensionally,
all at once, or from any one place at a time. The ability to think
in pictures and to register those pictures as real. Thus, you mix
in creative thinking with reality and change what is seen and heard.
a) To read and spell requires co-ordination of many brain
functions. Problems arise at one or more functional levels.
b) Developmental dyslexia is a neurobiological based deficit in
acquiring reading and spelling skills, relative to the person's
general intellectual abilities.
c) Dyslexia is a discrepancy between a high score on intelligence
tests and low scores on reading/spelling tests.
Definition 6) Dyslexia is a disability that alters the way the
brain processes written material. Effects vary from person to
person. However, all dyslexics read at levels significantly lower
than is typical for their age or intelligence.
Definition 7) Dyslexia is a learning difficulty characterised by
problems with written or spoken language such as reading, writing,
spelling, speaking, or listening. The word dyslexia describes a
different kind of mind, often gifted, over-productive, and that
learns in a different way.
Definition 8) Dyslexia is a congenital disturbance of brain
function causing a variety of learning difficulties, especially
relating to reading, writing and spelling.