1. What is dyslexia?
2. Is dyslexia related to intelligence or ability levels?
3. Are there other learning disabilities besides dyslexia?
4. Are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) learning disabilities?
5. How common are language-based learning disabilities?
6. Can individuals who are dyslexic learn to read?
7. How do people get dyslexia?
8. Is there a cure for dyslexia?
9. How do I know if a person is dyslexic?
10. Who can identify dyslexia?
11. Why doesn’t my child’s school test for dyslexia?
12. How is dyslexia treated?
13. Are there any special tuition programs for dyslexic children?
14. What are the rights of a dyslexic person?
- Dyslexia is a neurologically based specific learning disability that causes problems with learning to read and spell. The neurological pathways in the brain that transmit visual and/or auditory information are affected causing problems with the learning and recall of phonological and orthographic information. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Studies show that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain than do non-dyslexics as well as processing information more slowly.
- Most people who are dyslexic are of average to above average intelligence.
- The neurological difficulties experienced by dyslexics are not related to intelligence.
- The presence of dyslexia does not indicate a low IQ or lack of ability. Many dyslexics are intelligent and talented individuals.
Dyslexia is one type of learning disability. Others include:
- Dyscalculia - a mathematical disability in which a person has unusual difficulty recalling number facts; solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
- Dysgraphia - a neurological-based writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
- No, they are behavioural disorders.
- An individual can have more than one learning or behavioural disability. In various studies as many as 50% of those diagnosed with a learning or reading difference have also been diagnosed with ADHD.
- Although disabilities may co-occur, one is not the cause of the other.
- In Australia 16% of the population have dyslexia.
- Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties.
- Dyslexia affects males and females nearly equally, and people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as well.
- Yes, if children who are dyslexic get effective phonological training in Kindergarten and 1st grade, they will have significantly fewer problems in learning to read at grade level than do children who are not identified or helped until 3rd grade.
- 74% of the children who are poor readers in 3rd grade remain poor readers in the 9th grade. Often they can't read well as adults either.
- It is never too late for individuals with dyslexia to learn to read, process and express information more efficiently. Research shows that programs utilizing multisensory structured language techniques can help children and adults learn to read.
- The causes for dyslexia are neurobiological and genetic. Individuals inherit the genetic links for dyslexia. Chances are that one of the child's parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles is dyslexic.
- No, dyslexia is not a disease. There is no cure.
- With proper diagnosis, appropriate instruction, hard work and support from family, teachers, friends, and others, individuals who are dyslexic can succeed in school and later as working adults.
If a person exhibits several of the characteristics listed in "Common Signs of Dyslexia" and the difficulties are unexpected for the person's age, educational level, or cognitive abilities, the person should be tested by an educational diagnostician or a team of trained professionals. (It is important to note that the "Common Signs" are indicators, not proof of dyslexia. The only way to verify that an individual is dyslexic is through testing by a qualified examiner/s.)
Professionals who possess expertise in several disciplines are best qualified to make a diagnosis of dyslexia. The testing may be done by a single individual or by a team of specialists. A knowledge and background in psychology, reading, language and education is necessary. The tester must have knowledge of how individuals learn to read and why some people have trouble learning to read, and must also understand how to measure appropriate reading interventions is necessary to make recommendations. All DTS professionals meet these requirements.
An assessment for dyslexia requires:
- expensive assessment tools
- approximately 6 hours per person, and
- specific knowledge and expertise in this area.
Most Australian schools are unable to spend the time or money required to properly diagnose dyslexia.
- Dyslexia is a life-long condition. With proper help people with dyslexia can learn to read and/or write well. Early identification and treatment is the key to helping dyslexics achieve in school and in life. It is important for these individuals to be taught by a method that involves several senses (hearing, seeing, touching) at the same time. Many individuals with dyslexia need one-on-one help so that they can move forward at their own pace.
- Schools can implement academic modifications to help dyslexic students succeed.
- Students may also need help with emotional issues that sometimes arise as a consequence of difficulties in school.
- It is undesirable that children spend hours attending after school tuition programs if their classroom program at school is not meeting their needs. Children spend 5 hours a day in class during their best learning time. This is why DTS reports are intended for parents and class teachers to avoid costly and tiring after school tuition.
- Multisensory programs that compensate for processing problems work best with dyslexic children. Alpha to Omega is a well established British program and Orton-Gillingham is widely used in the USA; this program is available through our online store.
All Australian States have Anti-Discrimination Acts and there is a Federal Act that protects citizens from discrimination. Under these Acts dyslexia is categorised as a “neurologically based learning difference or disability” and schools and workplaces must not discriminate against their students or workers.