What is Dyslexia
 
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD), often inherited and is a lifelong condition. 
 
It is much more than the traditional definition of ‘difficulty with words’ or ‘word blindness’. Scientific definitions of Dyslexia are widely available on the web such as via the British Dyslexia Association and Dyslexia Scotland
 
Most agree the primary difficulty dyslexic people have is with Literacy, specifically reading and spelling and that this is often compounded by difficulties with short term memory, auditory and visual perception, sequencing and sometimes spoken language and motor skills. 
 
Dyslexia affects the whole person. There are also associated difficulties of Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia affecting number and motor coordination. 
 
What are the signs to look for? 
 
There are many indicators that a child may be Dyslexic, apart from obvious difficulties with literacy. Reversal of letters and numbers, difficulty with the orientation of b/d, p/q, n/u, problems remembering instructions and poor concentration are common. 
 
Dyslexics often mix up left and right and the order of the days of the week and months of the year. They may find difficulty telling the time and/or struggle with the concept of time altogether. Pronunciation of multi-syllabic words can be jumbled, as can phrases e.g. ‘par cark’. 
 
Dyslexic children can often struggle at school, despite average or above intelligence; their literacy and organisational difficulties impeding their ability to access the curriculum at the same level as their peers. They can fall further behind without appropriate specialist teaching and intervention. 
 
What effects can Dyslexia have? 
 
Persistent failure to cope at school can result in loss of self-esteem and self-confidence and children can withdraw into themselves or become the ‘class clown’ to mask their difficulties or to impress their peers. Frustration can often result and can lead to tantrums, disaffection and in some severe cases, to refusal to attend school. 
 
What can specialist teaching offer? 
 
Specialist teaching by trained teachers who use multi-sensory, structured, phonic based methods can make a significant difference to children who are struggling. This teaching needs to be regular and often to be effective, focussed not just on literacy difficulties, but also on the other aspects of Dyslexia mentioned above. 
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