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So, what is dyslexia exactly?

There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about dyslexia. Many believe that anyone who reverses letters when reading or writing is dyslexic, however this simply is not the case. Children and adults who are dyslexic have learned to avoid reading. It makes them anxious and uncomfortable. Reading comes naturally to some, but for those with dyslexia it can be a laborious struggle.

So, what is dyslexia exactly?

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 experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” [Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)]

In plain language, dyslexia can cause difficulty in learning to read and write quickly and fluently. Those with dyslexia generally do not enjoy reading or writing and can spend an unusually long time on tasks that involve reading and writing. Approximately 15-20% of the population is affected and many go without ever receiving a formal diagnosis. Dyslexia is hereditary, meaning it is not caused or prevented by education, environment or parenting. There is sadly no cure for dyslexia but many strategies have been developed to help learners overcome the hurdles presented before them.

At Literacy Unlimited, we aim to give our tutors the tools they need to work with adults who have a variety of strengths and weaknesses. On Wednesday, November 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. LU will host a dyslexia workshop facilitated by Ozlem Erten, PhD. Ozlem will focus on skills and strategies to use with learners that have dyslexia, however, these strategies can be used with all learners!  Please register with Jennifer.

Written for LU by Samantha Star.

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