‘Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulity that mainly affects the development of literacy and language-related skills. It is likely to be present at birth and to be life-long in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed, and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual’s other cognitive abilities. It tends to be resistant to conventional teaching methods, but its effects can be mitigated by appropriately specific intervention, including the application of information technology and supportive counselling. ‘British Dyslexia Association 2007’

The word ‘dyslexia’ comes from the Greek language and means ‘difficulty with words’. Children who are dyslexic struggle to read and write even though they are intelligent.

  • About four people in every hundred people are severely dyslexic. Another six people per hundred have mild or moderate dyslexia. More boys than girls have been diagnosed with dyslexia, but girls are just as likely to be affected.
  • Some talents that children with dyslexia may have include: having a strong visual sense and being good at designing, drawing or painting; being skilled with their hands and good at sculpting or model-making; having vivid imaginations and being able to create fantastic ideas and stories; having practical skills, such as being able to work out how to use equipment.
  • Some things that children have found helpful in dealing with their dyslexia include:
    – having coloured paper rather than white to write on, which reduces the glare from the writing surface so that the words aren’t as hard to see.
    – soft coloured paper on learning walls
    – sitting away from flourescent lighting when possible
    – using coloured overlays that they can put over the page of a book to change its colour
    – wearing glasses with tinted lenses
    – reading books that use a typeface that has been specially designed to help people with dyslexia.

Some of the problems a dyslexic pupil may have in secondary education:

  • Reading a timetable, finding their way around the school, packing the correct equipment and/or remembering homework tasks.
  • Being unable to follow a set of instructions.
  • Being unable to remember things recently taught.
  • Forgetting things they have just been asked to do (even though they can remember things that happened a long time ago).
  • May be able to read fluently but with little understanding, as all efforts are being put into the mechanics of reading (therefore extra time is needed to read for understanding).
  • May read the word correctly on one line, yet have to decode it again on the next line, and not necessarily correctly.
  • Getting left and right or up and down confused.
  • Being slow to answer questions or access word from their own ‘word-store’ (therefore extra time is needed for thinking).
  • Making mistakes when copying from the board or book – mistakes are made due to spatial difficulties.
  • Being unable to take dictated notes; there are too many tasks involved at once, including listening, writing and spelling at speed.
  • Letters, numbers and symbols may be transposed, reversed or rotated, causing problems in a number of subject areas.

Learning with the senses

  • Using mind-maps to help plan a story or collect information for a specific task.
  • Record stories on tape and play them back to make the writing process less pressured.
  • Audio learning can also be used to help a dyslexic child learn things such as times tables in maths.
  • Telling someone what to write down can help a dyslexic child to focus on what they want to include.

Please click the links below for more information.

How to change the background colour
Extra Time Allowance
Helping your dyslexia child to learn to read
Helping your dyslexia child to learn to spell
Word Wheels
Advice on note taking
Writing frames
English and Dyslexia
Geography and Dyslexia
History and Dyslexia
Maths and Dyslexia
MFL and Dyslexia
Science and Dyslexia
Technology and Dyslexia