How is dyslexia defined?
The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as follows:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experiences that can impact growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Dyslexia does not refer to "making reversals" or "seeing things backwards."
Why does my child experience difficulty in learning how to read?
Among all English-speaking poor readers, at least 70-80% struggle with accurate and fluent word recognition, often (but not always) rooted with a weaknesses in phonological processing. Students who struggle with word recognition are also low in sound-symbol correspondences, sounding out words, and spelling. The term dyslexia applies to this group of defined students.
Dyslexia can affect people with all IQ levels and all walks of life across a continuum of reading ability. The prevalence of dyslexia occurs on a continuum from mild to moderate to severe. A student can be gifted and dyslexic, or a slow learner and dyslexic.
Determining the cause of a reading difficulty is not always predictable or possible because each student's learning profile reflects a complex mix of environmental and neurobiological influences.