The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek and means 'difficulty with words'.


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Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities. It can vary in severity from person to person and can range from minor difficulties with spelling to severe problems with reading itself.

People with dyslexia often have normal (or extra) intelligence, yet perform below that ability in reading and writing tasks than in non-reading tasks. They have difficulty processing language, and in particular in the use, meaning, spelling and pronunciation of words.

Dyslexia is more common in males than females. It tends to run in families and continue into adult life. Although there are many theories about the cause of dyslexia and other learning difficulties, no theory has been proven. There is evidence that a family history of dyslexia or reading difficulties may be a factor. Being born premature may also be a factor.

Most experts believe that dyslexia is a disorder of the language function of the brain, leading to problems with processing auditory and visual information.

Some theories suggest that the learning difficulties are due to one side of the brain being more dominant than the other. This may explain why many dyslexic people are very creative, musical or sporty.

Dyslexia is not the result of emotional difficulties, limited intelligence or laziness.

Other sources of information for these topics.

The International Dyslexia Association
Formerly the Orton Dyslexia Association. Provides resources for professionals and families dealing with individuals with reading disabilities.

The Dyslexia Institute
Information about dyslexia services. Dyslexia associated training, teaching and publication details. Local UK groups.

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