Dyslexia is recognised as a specific learning disability affecting about 10% of the general population.
Dyslexia may affect one’s ability to develop good literacy and numeracy skills. Undiagnosed dyslexia has a great social cost, and may lead to:
- Education failure
- Low self-esteem
- Poor confidence
- Reduced employment prospects
- Disruptive and anti-social behaviour
The following cognitive performances (how we think about and process information) can be affected:
- Spatial awareness and recognition
- Homophone recognition
- Digit Span (forward and reverse)
- Verbal reasoning
- Directional awareness
- Right and left awareness
- Reading speed
Spelling / homophones
Difficulties with spelling and recognising homophones (e.g., Yew and you) are commonplace for dyslexics.
Visual processing abilities in the average dyslexic have, in some cases, been found to be higher than in non-dyslexics.
Refers to a person’s contextual understanding of words, rather than their ability to provide a simple definition.
Slow reading speed is a good indicator of dyslexia when used in conjunction with other indicators.
Many poor readers may try to skip passages, as they can be embarrassed to say they cannot read, or find the task highly frustrating.
If a person skips words and passages the cause may be that poor eyesight and / or other specific learning difficulties are the issue.
Dyslexics may confuse North and South, East and West and hence run a higher risk of heading in the wrong direction.
Digit Span (forward and reverse)
Indicates the strength of a person’s short-term / working memory, which can be a poor in many dyslexics.
If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘short-term / working memory’, please take time to find out more, as this will help you empathise with dyslexics’ needs and their perception of the world.
This is a good indicator of how well a person can absorb, retain, and recall information from written text.