What is Dyslexia?

The word dyslexia is derived from Greek: dys (poor or inadequate); and lexis (words). The English meaning is poor or inadequate language. Dyslexia is characterized by problems in expressive or receptive, oral or written language. Problems may emerge in reading, spelling, writing, speaking, or listening.

Dyslexia is not a disease; it has no cure. Dyslexia describes a different kind of mind - often gifted and productive - that learns differently. Intelligence is not the problem. Dyslexics may have average to superior intelligence. An unexpected gap exists between their learning aptitude and their achievement in school.

The problem is not behavioral. It is not psychological. It is not social. It is not a problem of vision; dyslexics do not "see backward." Dyslexia results from differences in the structure and the function of the brain.

Dyslexics are unique. Each has individual strengths and weaknesses. Many dyslexics are creative and have unusual talent in areas such as art, athletics, architecture, graphics, electronics, mechanics, drama, music, or engineering. Dyslexics often show special talent in areas that require visual, spatial, and motor integration.

Their problems in language processing distinguish them as a group. This means that the dyslexic has problems translating language to thought (as in listening or reading) or in translating thought to language (as in writing or speaking).


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Last update: 12/14/2005