dyslexia - frequently asked questions (faq's)

Jumbled Letters

 

We get quite a few questions from people asking about Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD's), so I have tried to answer some of the more common questions.

 



what is dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).

 

what causes dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Most specialists consider dyslexia to be a hereditary, genetic condition. Dyslexia often runs in families. The causes have not been fully established at the moment.

 

However, dyslexia can be caused by other ways i.e., stroke, serious head injury etc.

 

do people from other countries have dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia occurs from all races, backgrounds and abilities.

 


what are the symptoms of dyslexia? [ back to top ]

People with dyslexia usually have phonological difficulties (i.e., find it difficult to sort out sounds within words,, this means they have problems with reading, writing, spelling, number work, short-term memory, hand control and visual processing. Timekeeping, sense of direction and interpersonal skills can also be affected. For a fuller description go to the 'Dyslexia Checklist'.


is dyslexia a 'gift'? [ back to top ]

Many people think dyslexia is a 'gift', because they are very creative and are usually very good at their chosen career. Also, most self-made millionaires are dyslexic, it is thought this is because they have the tenacity to succeed. Another reason may be because most dyslexics, 'think outside of the box' and therefore find it easier to 'lead' rather than work in a certain manner.


is dyslexia an illness? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is definitely not an illness, it is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).

is dyslexia a disease? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is definitely not a disease, it is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).


is dyslexia considered a disability? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is a registered disability under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons' Act 1970, Education 1993 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.


is dyslexia a learning disability? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is recognised as a Specific Learning Disability (SpLD)?


is dyslexia hereditary?

Most specialists consider dyslexia to be a hereditary, genetic condition. Dyslexia often runs in families.


how many people have dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia affects approximately 10% of the population.

does dyslexia affect men and women equally? [ back to top ]

Up until recently, it was thought that Dyslexia affected more males than females (approximately 75-80% men), however, there has been some research in the last few years, to suggest that it is more likely to be 50/50. Further research is being undertaken to try to find out more accurate figures.

are dyslexics of average intelligence? [ back to top ]

Dyslexics are often of high or above average intelligence, these difficulties often result in great frustration, bearing in mind that dyslexics are often of high or above average intelligence.

If I think i have dyslexia, what signs should i look for?

Look at the signs for dyslexia on the dyslexia checklist or go on-line and try one of the free dyslexia on-line tests.


if you have dyslexia will you always have it? [ back to top ]

Yes, like colour blindness, it is permanent.

are there good things about having dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Yes, people with dyslexia are usually very good at creative work and excel in areas such as:

* Architecture
* Arts
* Computer sciences
* Construction
* Electronics
* Engineering
* Entertainment
* Mathematics
* Physics
* Sports.


my school headmaster has told me that dyslexia does not exist, what can i do about it? [ back to top ]

In the UK, dyslexia comes under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Therefore, I think you should immediately make an official complaint to the Local Education Authority (LEA).


If you are outside the UK, where dyslexia is not yet recognised try to offer help to the teachers, schools etc by showing them useful websites.

can you cure dyslexia? [ back to top ]

You cannot cure dyslexia because it is not an illness. However, you can be taught ways to ‘overcome dyslexia’. Teachers should use multi-sensory learning methods.

can i demand the school assesses my child? [ back to top ]

If you can show that your child needs a test, you can approach the teacher or head teacher and request an assessment. However, only the head-teacher can put your child forward for an assessment with an Educational Psychologist. Sometimes, this may take a very long time, whilst your child is falling further behind. It may be best for you to have your child tested privately.
.

is there a booklet where i can get factual information on getting help at school? [ back to top ]

Read the Code of Practice Information Booklet produced by the DFES.
Website: www.dfes.gov.uk

my son is at school, how can i get him test for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

If you think your child has dyslexia, you can ask the school to test / assess him, in the first instance:

* Ask the class teacher, if you do not get a satisfactory answer in a reasonable time say (two weeks),
* Ask the head-teacher to intervene, if you still do not have a satisfactory response, it may be better to
* Go private, to a Specialist Teacher for a Diagnostic Assessment. or
* Go private to an Educational Psychologist or
* Go to a Specialist Dyslexia Testing Centre.

 

is there any treatment for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

If your child’s difficulties are identified and an individual education plan (IEP) put into place the child should be able to overcome his problems. This would usually involve a specialist teacher putting in alternative approaches to his work, i.e., (multi-sensory teaching methods), which use all the senses – especially, visual techniques and physical movement. This method of teaching has proven to be highly effective and helps students to remember spellings more easily.

what research is being done? [ back to top ]

*The NINDS and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health, conduct research on dyslexia. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat dyslexia and other learning disabilities, increasing the understanding of the biological basis of learning disabilities, and exploring the relationship between neurophysiological processes and cognitive functions with regard to reading ability.

*NINDS March 2005©

can you recommend some good books? [ back to top ]

There are hundreds of excellent good books around. dyslexia book list.

where can i get help for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

There are many useful organisations, click on: dyslexia links.

i want to get my child tested for dyslexia, can i book a test? [ back to top ]

Look at the signs for dyslexia on the dyslexia checklist or go on-line and try one of the free dyslexia on-line tests.

can you test adults for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Look at the signs for dyslexia on the dyslexia checklist or go on-line and try one of the free dyslexia on-line tests.

 

if i go to the open university as a full-time student, can i get the 'disabled student's allowance' (dsa)? [ back to top ]

The Open University has a system in place similar to other Universities, to apply for the Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA), please go to their website. Open University to go direct to their website to obtain further help and advice.

It often takes quite a long time to claim this allowance so you should apply for it as soon as you intend to go a university.

The Government is making changes to the DSA at the moment, so things may change with this benefit.


what research is being done for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

*The NINDS and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health, conduct research on dyslexia. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat dyslexia and other learning disabilities, increasing the understanding of the biological basis of learning disabilities, and exploring the relationship between neurophysiological processes and cognitive functions with regard to reading ability.

*NINDS March 2005©

can you recommend some good books? [ back to top ]

There are hundreds of excellent good books around. dyslexia book list.

where can i get help? [ back to top ]

There are many useful organisations, click on: dyslexia links.

i want to get my child tested, can i book a test? [ back to top ]

Click on the link below to book a test.


can you test adults for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Yes, please click on the link below to book a test.

 

is dyslexia a mental illness? [ back to top ]

Yes, please click on the link below to book a test.

 

is dyslexia real? [ back to top ]

Approximately 10% of the population have dyslexia. Dyslexia is very real and is recognised as a registered disability and recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


when was the term dyslexia invented? [ back to top ]

The term for dyslexia was first invented in 1887 by a German Ophthalmologist Rudolf Berlin.

 

where was dyslexia discovered? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia was discovered in Germany.

 

where does the word 'dyslexia' come from? [ back to top ]

The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek word, 'dys' term for 'difficult' and 'lexia' meaning reading, thus difficult with reading.

 

where did dyslexia originate from?[ back to top ]

The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek word, 'dys' term for 'difficult' and 'lexia' meaning reading, thus difficult with reading.

 

is it true that most self-made millionaires are dyslexic?[ back to top ]

Yes, most self-made millionaires are dyslexic. It is thought this is because they have often had to fight to succeed when they were younger and therefore have the tenacity to become a success.

 

if you have dyslexia are you stupid?[ back to top ]

No, you are not stupid if you have dyslexia, on the contrary people who are dyslexic are usually very creative. Dyslexics think in a unique way, this is one of the reasons NASA have someone with dyslexia on most of their teams. Another job they are really good at, is 'spying'. In the UK, our 'Spy Agencies', actively recruit people with dyslexia.

 

is dyslexia a neurological disorder?[ back to top ]

Specialists consider dyslexia to be a neurobiological condition that is genetic in origin - this means you can inherit this from your parents. This problem means it affects the part of the brain needed for learning to read.

 

is dyslexia inherited?[ back to top ]

Specialists consider dyslexia to be a neurobiological condition that is genetic in origin - this means you can inherit this from your parents. This problem means it affects the part of the brain needed for learning to read.

 

is dyslexia on the autism spectrum?[ back to top ]

Some people consider dyslexia to be on the 'autism spectrum', however there are just as many people that say this is not correct. There is a lot of research being carried out at the moment. It is possible that you could have autism and dyslexia in the same way you could have dyspraxia and dyslexia or ADHD and dyslexia.

 

is dyslexia a condition?[ back to top ]

Dyslexia is a 'condition' that you have all your life. Specialist tutors can help teach you ways to overcome dyslexia but you can never 'cure it' because it is not a disease.

 

is dyslexia a special educational need?[ back to top ]

Dyslexia is a special educational need. In the UK, it is recognised as a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).

 

is dyslexia related to autism?[ back to top ]

Some people consider dyslexia to be 'related to 'autism', others however do not believe this is correct. There is a lot of research being carried out at the moment. It is possible that you could have autism and dyslexia in the same way you could have dyspraxia and dyslexia or ADHD and dyslexia.

 

do chinese people have dyslexia?[ back to top ]

It is estimated that 10% of Chinese are dyslexic. Just imagine what it must be like when they have over 50,000 characters to learn.

 

why do children want the same bedtime story over and over again?[ back to top ]

Children who demand the same bedtime story be read to them over and over maybe learning more than those who choose a different tale every time, according to academics. More here [ back to top ]