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Dyslexia – definitions and incidence

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

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Information put together by the Learning Support Team which explains what is dyslexia and offers advice and support.

The Rose Report definition of dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling

  • Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
  • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut off points.
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor coordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
  • A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.

From 'Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties', an independent report from Sir Jim Rose to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and families, June 2009.

The British Psychological Society definition

Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent word reading and/or spelling develops very incompletely or with great difficulty. This focuses on literacy at the word level and implies that the problem is severe and persistent despite appropriate learning opportunities.

From 'Dyslexia, Literacy and Psychological Assessment', a report of the working Party of the DECP of British Psychological Society (BPS), 1999.

 

It has been suggested that up to 10% of the population (or even more) show some signs of dyslexia, particularly when it is present in other members of the family.

 
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