February 1, 2017

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, that result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia often experience difficulties with both oral and written other language skills, such as writing, and pronouncing words and writing. The word ‘dyslexia’ comes from the Greek and means ‘difficulty with words’

Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed without phonics-based reading instruction that is unavailable in most public schools.

Dyslexia affects people of all ethnic backgrounds, although a person’s native language can play an important role. A language where there is a clear connection between how a word is written and how it sounds, and consistent rules grammatical rules, such as in Italian and Spanish, can be more straightforward for a person with mild to moderate dyslexia to cope with.

However, languages such as English, where there is often no clear connection between the written form and sound, as in words such as “cough” and “dough,” can be more challenging for a person with dyslexia.

Dyslexic people are highly creative, intuitive, and excel at three-dimensional problem solving and hands-on learning. Our visual and holistic learning style means that we learn best through the creative process, with methods that focus on mastery of the meanings of words and symbols. The true gift of dyslexia is the gift of mastery.


The exact causes of dyslexia are still not completely clear, but anatomical and brain imagery studies show differences in the way the brain of a person with dyslexia develops and functions. Moreover, most people with dyslexia have been found to have difficulty with identifying the separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds, a key factor in their reading difficulties. Dyslexia is not due to either lack of intelligence or desire to learn; with appropriate teaching methods, individuals with dyslexia can learn successfully.

Genetic causes of dyslexia – Genetic defect linked to reading problems – a team at the Yale School of Medicine found that defects in a gene, known as DCDC2, were associated with problems in reading performance. They also reported that this defective gene appears to interact with KIAA0319, a second dyslexia gene.

Acquired dyslexia – A small minority of people with dyslexia acquired the condition after they were born. The most common causes of acquired dyslexia are brain injuries, stroke or some other type of trauma.

Neurological Differences – Dyslexia results from a neurological difference; that is, a brain difference. People with dyslexia have a larger right hemisphere in their brains than those of normal readers. That may be one reason people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right side of the brain, such as –

  • artistic, athletic, and mechanical gifts
  • 3-D visualization ability
  • musical talent
  • creative problem solving skills
  • and intuitive people skills

Environmental – Studies provide evidence is mounting that these disorders may be linked to exposure to chemicals in the environment.

Brain activity – To be able to read, our brains have to translate the symbols we see on the page into sounds. Then those sounds have to be combined into meaningful words. Typically the areas of our brains responsible for language skills work in a predictable way. But if your child has dyslexia, those areas don’t work together in the same way. Kids with reading issues end up using different areas of the brain to compensate.

Risk Factors

Dyslexia risk factors include –

  • A family history of dyslexia
  • Individual differences in the parts of the brain that enable reading


Learning to read – the child, despite having normal intelligence and receiving proper teaching and parental support, has difficulty learning to read

Milestones reached later – the child learns to crawl, walk, talk, throw or catch things, ride a bicycle later than the majority of other kids

Speech – apart from being slow to learn to speak, the child commonly mispronounces words, finds rhyming extremely challenging, and does not appear to distinguish between different word sounds

Slow at learning sets of data – At school the child takes much longer than the other children to learn the letters of the alphabet and how they are pronounced. There may also be problems remembering the days of the week, months of the year, colors, and some arithmetic tables

Coordination – The child may seem clumsier than his or her peers. Catching a ball may be difficult

Left and right – The child commonly gets “left” and “right” mixed up

Reversal – Numbers and letters may be reversed without realizing

Spelling – May not follow a pattern of progression seen in other children. The child may learn how to spell a word today, and completely forget the next day. One word may be spelt in a variety of ways on the same page

Phonology problems – Phonology refers to the speech sounds in a language. If a word has more than two syllables, phonology processing becomes much more difficult. For example, with the word “unfortunately” a person with dyslexia may be able to process the sounds “un” and “ly,” but not the ones in between

Concentration span – Children with dyslexia commonly find it hard to concentrate for long, compared to other children. Many adults with dyslexia say this is because after a few minutes of non-stop struggling, the child is mentally exhausted. A higher number of children with dyslexia also have ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), compared to the rest of the population

Sequencing ideas – When a person with dyslexia expresses a sequence of ideas, they may seem illogical for people without the condition

Autoimmune conditions – People with dyslexia are more likely to develop immunological problems, such as hay fever, asthma, eczema, and other allergies.


Dyslexia can lead to a number of problems, including –

  • Trouble learning – Because reading is a skill basic to most other school subjects, a child with dyslexia is at a disadvantage in most classes and may have trouble keeping up with peers.
  • Social problems – Left untreated, dyslexia may lead to low self-esteem, behavior problems, anxiety, aggression, and withdrawal from friends, parents and teachers.
  • Problems as adults – The inability to read and comprehend can prevent a child from reaching his or her potential as the child grows up. This can have long-term educational, social and economic consequences.
  • Depression is also a frequent complication in dyslexia. Depressed children and adolescents often have different symptoms than do depressed adults. The depressed child is unlikely to be lethargic or to talk about feeling sad. Instead he or she may become more active or misbehave to cover up the painful feelings. In the case of masked depression, the child may not seem obviously unhappy.


It is important for family members and the person with dyslexia to remember that dyslexia is not a disease. We live in a society where reading and writing are integral parts of everyday life – interventions that help people with dyslexia are aimed at improving their coping skills.

Some children find that tracing their finger around the shape of letters helps them process data more effectively.

The child will receive help in improving the following skills –

  • Learning to recognize phonemes
  • Understanding that these phonemes are represented by letters or groups of letters strung together
  • Reading out aloud
  • Vocabulary building
  • Reading comprehension.

It is vital for the child’s self-esteem and personal ambition that he or she is reminded that even though reading and writing may be problem, millions of people with dyslexia worldwide have thrived and become successful and productive citizens.

Complementary & Alternative Treatment

Scotopic Sensitivity (Irlen) Syndrome – Irlen lenses (colour tinted) or filters have been found to reduce or eliminate glare which causes some readers to experience perceptual difficulties.

Nutritional Supplements / Diet – Essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils) are said to help maintain eye and brain function. These essential fatty acids are found in oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and in vegetable oils and seeds (e.g. sunflower, flax, pumpkin and sesame). Nutritional supplements are also available in pharmacies and health food stores.

Zinc is one of the body’s most important trace minerals and there have been suggestions that people with dyslexia and other learning difficulties may be deficient in this mineral. Iron is also extremely important for building our bodies. Research indicates that even a minor deficiency in iron may weaken the immune system and impair general physical performance.

Movement-Based Therapies – Educational kinesiology, neuro-developmental therapy, primary movement, brain gym, DDAT programme – these theories hold that learning difficulties can be caused by primitive reflexes remaining active in the body. Attainment of balance, hand-eye co-ordination, motor control and perceptual skills may be delayed or inhibited as a result.


Reference –










Posted in A-Z-Search