Dyslexia is a “Specific Learning Difficulty” (SpLD) that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
Dyslexia in children can present in different ways, and is not a straightforward diagnosis.
There are a number of different definitions and descriptions of dyslexia, which may be appropriate for certain contexts or purposes.
In 2009 Sir Jim Rose’s Report on ‘Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties’ gave the following description. This was adopted by the British Dyslexia Association Management Board, but with the addition of the further paragraph shown below:
‘Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well founded intervention.’