Dyslexia is the “reading disability” or “learning disability” which is neurobiological in origin. Individuals with this medical problem are not able to recognize fluent words accurately accompanied by poor spelling and decoding abilities. They also face problems in reading comprehension and this bad reading experience obstructs the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Individuals with dyslexia face difficulty in distinguishing frequent occurring words which normal individuals can easily make out. Examples of such words are “the” and “in”. Dyslexia has two main features. Firstly, people with this disease possess weak phonemic awareness which means they have problem in differentiating between fine rhyming words and also, breaking words down into individual sounds. Secondly, people with dyslexia take much time to treat phonemic information to make combinations of sounds and letters. People with dyslexia need much more time to put together individual sounds into words while reading than normal people.
Let us peep into some facts about dyslexia:
• The common symptoms of dyslexia include: difficulty in rhyming words, difficulty in learning and recalling the sounds of letters and letter combinations rapidly, difficulty in learning to decode unknown words, reading slowly, difficulty in listing rhyming words, having weak spelling.
• It is a neurobiological disease which is acquired genetically if one or both of the parents have it and it goes on for life-long. Despite this fact, such people have strong listening vocabularies and are bright, creative and good thinkers.
• Dyslexia affects about 20% of the U.S population. Even, many of our scientists and scholars, who had the most intelligent minds of our time, like Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and John Lennon, suffered from dyslexia.
• It was in year 1896 when the description of dyslexia came out for the first time when Dr. W. Pringle Morgan in Sussex, England, quoted: “Perry F …aged 14………has always been a bright and intelligent boy, quick at games, and in no way inferior to others of his age. His great difficulty has been and is now – his inability to learn to read.”
• Dyslexics make better use of their right brain and have a strong ability to think out of the box. They, generally, see every concept with a big picture perspective. Dyslexics are more curious, creative and intuitive than normal people.
• Dyslexics do not see letters backwards. They tend to see things three-dimensionally which affects the way they look at words. Dyslexics are also thought to read backwards because of the “Recency Effect”. They pronounce the word using the most recent sound first, like “tap” for “pat”.
• Dyslexics have the tendency to substitute words having the same meaning in the text which they find hard to pronounce, such as “car” for “automobile”.
• Dyslexics, generally, skip parts of texts while reading. They find it difficult to remember dates, names, telephone numbers, and random lists.
• According to various research studies, there are strong correlations between dyslexia symptoms and deficits in short-term memory and executive functioning.
• Recent research has shown that an equal number of boys and girls are dyslexic.
• All reading problems are not dyslexia. Some are result of lack of exposure to books or lack of quality reading instructions in the school.
• Nearly 70% to 85% of the children, placed in special education for learning disabilities, suffer from dyslexia, in actual.
• According to U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 15% of the population is estimated to have dyslexia.
• According to research, explicit, systematic phonics can help dyslexic people to learn to read. Dyslexics get confused when a long list of directions is given to them but they do very well when directions are two steps or fewer.