Dyslexia is a difficulty with reading and writing that is not connected to general learning ability or intelligence.
As there is no single common pattern that typifies dyslexia, anotther term that is used is:
specific reading and writing difficulties
They are specific because they can affect particular skills and not others. For example, children and adolescents may be able to read quite well, but not write – that is, they cannot transfer what they hear into print.
Such people may have a difficulty sounding out words, that is they find it difficult to associate the 44 individual sounds (phonemes) in English with the letters and combination of letters (graphemes) available in the English writing system.
There are also people who cannot recall whole words (surface dyslexia), so they resort to phonological or pronunciation rules if they come across a word that does not follow the normal pattern of pronunciation.
Assessment and Individual Learning Plans
Assessment can be carried out by using dyslexia-screening software, or a pen and paper tests (which take longer), combined with a detailed interview in relation to family, school and general knowledge. The combination of the formal testing and informal interviewing facilitate a holistic view of the reading and writing difficulty.
Individual Learning Plans based on the insights provided by diagnostic testing and informal interviews form a central part of strategies to overcome the difficulties of dyslexia.