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Guide to Condition: Dyslexia

Posted by Natalie Simpson on

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty which can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. Unlike a learning disability, dyslexia doesn’t affect intelligence and instead affects certain abilities used for learning. Approximately 1 in every 10 people in the UK lives with some degree of dyslexia, and while it is a lifelong condition, support is available to help make reading and writing easier.

What causes dyslexia?

It is still relatively unknown what the exact cause of dyslexia is, but it’s thought to be due to genetics and how certain genes inherited from parents can affect brain development during early life. Children and adults of all intellectual abilities can have dyslexia.

Living with dyslexia

Individuals living with dyslexia may find that the signs usually become apparent once they have started school and begin to learn to read and write. People with dyslexia may:

  • Read and write slowly.
  • Mix up the order of letters in words.
  • Flip letters around.
  • Struggle with spelling.
  • Have difficulty with written information.
  • Find it difficult to follow directions.
  • Struggle with planning and organisation.

Although potentially struggling with reading and writing, dyslexic individuals can often be highly skilled in areas like creative thinking and problem solving.

Support for dyslexia

For parents concerned about their children, it’s a good idea to speak to their teacher or special educational needs co-ordinator to see if they can offer additional support if necessary. Specialist dyslexia teachers or educational psychologists can also be contacted through the school or a local dyslexia association. Adults going through a dyslexia assessment can also contact a local association or a national one for advice.

Children with dyslexia may benefit from extra support at school, such as one-to-one teaching or lessons in a small group with a specialist teacher covering subjects like phonics to identify sounds that make up words. Technology like computers and speech recognition software can also help with writing and reading. In later education, specialist staff are available at universities and reasonable adjustments can be made in the workplace to make tasks more manageable.

Useful links

British Dyslexia Association (BDA): http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

Local Dyslexia Associations (LDAS): https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/membership/local-dyslexia-associations/lda-directory

Although dyslexia is a lifelong condition, it can be made easier with reading and writing aids. View our full selection of products at our website here.

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