Definitions & Characteristics
DEFINITION OF DYSLEXIA
As defined in Texas Education Code §38.003
(1) “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.
(2) “Related disorders” includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
The definition of the International Dyslexia Association states:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Board of Directors, November 12, 2002).
- Difficulty reading real words in isolation;
- Difficulty accurately decoding nonsense words;
- Slow, inaccurate, or labored oral reading (lack of reading fluency);
- Difficulty with learning to spell.
- The development of phonological awareness, including segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words;
- Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds;
- Phonological memory (holding information about sounds and words in memory);
- Rapid naming of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet.
- Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension;
- Variable difficulty with aspects of written composition;
- A limited amount of time spent in reading activities.
- May talk later than most children;
- May have difficulty with rhyming;
- May have difficulty pronouncing words (i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower);
- May have poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants;
- May be slow to add new vocabulary words;
- May be unable to recall the right word;
- May have trouble learning numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, and how to spell and write his or her name.
Kindergarten through third grade:
- Fails to understand that words come apart;
- Has difficulty learning the letter names and their corresponding sounds;
- Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)—lacks a strategy;
- Has difficulty spelling phonetically;
- Oral reading is choppy and labored (nonfluent);
- Relies on context to recognize a word.
Fourth grade through high school:
- Has a history of reading and spelling difficulties;
- Avoids reading out loud;
- Reads most materials slowly;
- oral reading is labored, not fluent;
- Avoids reading for pleasure;
- May have an inadequate vocabulary;
- Has difficulty spelling;
- may resort to using less complicated words in writing that are easier to spell.