Definition of Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a brain-based condition that makes it extremely difficult to read, write, and spell in your native language—despite at least average intelligence.
The International Dyslexia Association's definition of dyslexia states:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experiences, both of which can limit a person's vocabulary and background knowledge.
Dyslexia is a complex problem whose roots reach deep into the wiring of the brain. It affects how we understand and express language, how we read and spell, how we memorize facts and retrieve words. It is often restricted to just the language portion of the brain, affecting how we turn print into sound. It can be carried as a genetic trait. It is chronic and persistent; you don't outgrow it.
It is NOT a condition of overall cognitive weakness, nor does it result from visual disorders. It is not simply reversing letters or mirror writing. It is not tied to a temporary lag in reading development or to interrupted or inconsistent educational opportunities. It does not result from being left handed or very disorganized, and it is not caused by ADD or ADHD. It affects as many girls as boys. Overall deficits in language or dual-language concerns cannot be used to diagnose dyslexia.