Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself primarily as a difficulty with reading and spelling. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. It is estimated that dyslexia affects between 5% to 17% of the U.S. population.
Although dyslexia is thought to be the result of a neurological difference, it is not an intellectual disability. Dyslexia is diagnosed in people of all levels of intelligence, average, above average, and highly gifted Pre-school age children It is difficult to obtain a certain diagnosis of dyslexia before a child begins school, but many dyslexic individuals have a history of difficulties that began well before kindergarten. Children who exhibit these symptoms have a higher risk of being diagnosed as dyslexic than other children. Some of these symptoms are:
Delay in learning to speak Learns new words slowly Has difficulty rhyming words, as in nursery rhymes Late in establishing a dominant hand Early elementary school-age children Difficulty learning the alphabet Difficulty with associating sounds with the letters that represent them (sound-symbol correspondence) Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words (phonological awareness) Difficulty segmenting words into individual sounds, or blending sounds to make words (phonemic awareness) Difficulty with word retrieval or naming problems Difficulty learning to decode words Confusion with before/after, right/left, over/under, and so on Difficulty distinguishing between similar sounds in words; mixing up sounds in multisyllable words (auditory discrimination) (for example, "aminal" for animal, "bisghetti" for spaghetti) Older elementary school children Slow or inaccurate reading Very poor spelling Difficulty associating individual words with their correct meanings Difficulty with time keeping and concept of time Difficulty with organization skills Due to fear of speaking incorrectly, some children become withdrawn and shy or become bullies out of their inability to understand the social cues in their environment Difficulty comprehending rapid instructions, following more than one command at a time or remembering the sequence of things Reversals of letters (b for d) and a reversal of words (saw for was) are typical among children who have dyslexia. Reversals are also common for children age 6 and younger who don't have dyslexia. But with dyslexia, the reversals persist. Children with dyslexia may fail to see (and occasionally to hear) similarities and differences in letters and words, may not recognize the spacing that organizes letters into separate words, and may be unable to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word