What is Dyslexia?

As conveyed through its Latin roots the word dyslexia translates to mean difficulty with words.

‚ÄčInternational Dyslexia Association

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Basic Facts:

  • Dyslexia is not a vision impairment; it is language based.

  • Dyslexia is a chronic condition for which there is no cure. Nonetheless, through appropriate instruction the brain can be “rewired” to enable students to become readers and writers.

  • Dyslexia is often familial in nature.

  • Dyslexia can strike any type of family regardless of literacy experiences and backgrounds.

  • Thinking, reasoning, and understanding are untouched by dyslexia.

  • Dyslexia impacts both males and females.

  • Dyslexia affects one in five children (Shaywitz, 6).

  • Early detection is crucial as younger minds are more plastic in terms of rerouting the neural circuits (Shaywitz).

  • About 75% of those students who have reading difficulties can overcome their difficulties with appropriate instruction.

  • Everyone speaks, but not everyone reads:  reading does not come naturally to most children. It is a set of skills that must be explicitly taught as reading is not innate.

  • “The human brain is not designed to read; learning to read requires the activation of several areas of the brain that are mainly located in the language areas of the brain” (45). IDA

“Dyslexic kids are creative, ‘outside-the-box’ thinkers. They have to be, because they don’t see or solve problems the same way other kids do. In school, unfortunately, they are sometimes written off as lazy, unmotivated, rude or even stupid. They aren’t. Making Percy dyslexic was my way of honoring the potential of all the kids I’ve known who have those conditions. It’s not a bad thing to be different. Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented.” 


— Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series

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