'Dyslexia' literally means 'difficulty with the written word'. It is a complex condition, usually present from birth, which prevents someone from accessing printed or written material in a normal way. So, although many dyslexics are highly intelligent, they require 'extra time' to process text that they read or write. If dyslexia is very severe, the barriers to reading and writing may appear insurmountable.
Can dyslexia be overcome?
While dyslexia may never fully disappear, it may be helped significantly so that reading, spelling and writing become much easier. Wider recognition of dyslexia and the use of structured, phonetic, multi-sensory teaching methods help to remedy dyslexics' barriers to literacy and numeracy.
What are the strengths and skills of the dyslexic or dyspraxic?
Particular skills can include some of the following:
aspects of auditory processing: in particular perceiving verbal and musical sounds quickly and well. Dyslexics and dyspraxics often have a predilection therefore for appreciating and creating word puns (especially rhyming word puns) such as used in jokes or journalism; hearing each word in a song on first listening; for copying accents in drama; and being able to listen to music, or a conversation, at the same time as working.
general auditory memory: remembering spoken information, for example from listening to a lecture, television programme or song. Sometimes powers of recall can be to the extent of reciting word for word.
visualising: a readiness to translate ideas and word meanings into pictures; as such, dyslexics and dyspraxics can show a propensity for Film or Graphics.
holistic visual memory: while the dyslexic or dyspraxic can find it very difficult to recall a sequence of items laid in a row, he or she can be talented when recalling items in any random order, shown as a group.
spatial awareness: a holistic awareness of items in a spatial, 3-D sense, such as 3-D puzzles, designing and building, technical mechanics, particular sports and dance.
problem-solving: seeing things as a whole, and offering a different perspective by using fresh ideas which can be innovative solutions.
verbal communication: fluent and witty speech is common, with accompanying skill in public speaking, drama, marketing, communicating by telephone, teaching and story-telling.
'people skills': a keen social awareness, an ability to tap into current trends, and get the best out of working with others.