What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a language-based specific learning difficulty. Four leading British researchers recently defined it as “difficulty with reading and writing in people who do OK in other aspects of life (their difficulty is mostly with reading and writing) have had the chance to learn to read, but have not been able to learn like others.” Spelling is a significant difficulty for people with dyslexia. A learning disability characterized by difficulty in reading, spelling, and writing in individuals who have received adequate reading instruction and do not have hearing or vision problems. Those with dyslexia tend to have average to high intelligence (IQ) and can have mild to severe dyslexia. (Australian Psychological Society)
What is the difference between Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties? (E.G. Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia)
Dyslexia is one of a number of Specific Learning Difficulties, it is characterised by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Others would be specific difficulty with arithmetic (dyscalculia), difficulty with handwriting (dysgraphia), non-verbal learning difficulties (difficulty with symbols, spatial perception, coordination).
How is dyslexia diagnosed?
SPELD NSW (SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTIES, Association of NSW) and the Australian Psychological Society both emphasise how important an accurate diagnosis is to provide appropriate and targeted intervention.
An accurate diagnosis requires: (1) evidence of poor performance on tasks assessing academic skills; (2) demonstration of inadequate response to age-appropriate reading and writing tasks despite additional teaching/learning support ; and (3) exclusion of explanatory factors, such as a low level of intellectual functioning, visual or auditory deficits, or behavioural or emotional problems judged to have hampered participation in learning.
Other Learning and Attention difficulties:
The term “learning and attention issues” covers a wide range of challenges kids may face in school, at home and in the community. It includes all children who are struggling—whether their issues have been formally identified or not.