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Want to know more about dyslexia?  Read on. 

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disorder that can make it difficult to read, write, and spell.  It's a condition that people are born with and often runs in families.  Most people with dyslexia have average or above-average intelligence, and they work very hard to overcome their learning problems. For children, it affects their success at school, confidence, and motivation. The incidence of dyslexia is as high as 1 in 5 people.  



What can be done about it?

Current, brain research-based studies support multisensory instruction for students who struggle with reading, spelling and writing.  Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to develop reading and spelling skills.   Multisensory tutoring using Orton-Gillingham methods is a systematic, sequential, cumulative, and explicit instructional program focused on the structure of language.  A solid foundation for reading and spelling is established as all learning pathways to the brain - seeing, hearing, feeling, moving - are used to convey information in the most understandable and effective way to the student. This approach is scientifically proven to be highly effective in remediating dyslexia for children, teens and adults. 
Support for parents

Decoding Dyslexia is a grassroots movement of parents, making a difference for dyslexic children.  Visit Virginia's local chapter Decoding Dyslexia Virginia.




The 1in5 Initiative is an advocacy group for people and families touched by dyslexia.  Watch this empowering video and visit

"What is Dyslexia?" - a great video by Kelli Sandman-Hurley and Marc Kristoforidis, presented by TED-Ed.

Some Characteristics of Dyslexia

  • Unable to read satisfactorily in spite of adequate intelligence and educational opportunity

  • Work does not reflect intellectual ability

  • Unusual difficulty in handwriting

  • Unusual difficulty in spelling (beyond the weekly spelling test)

  • Unable to write or recite the alphabet in sequence

  • Reversals, rotations, transpositions in reading and writing

  • Directional confusion: left-right, before-after, over-under

  • Poor recall ability, especially for names and words

  • Poor auditory discrimination or confusion with similar speech sounds

  • Unable to accurately copy from the near point, far point, or both

  • Inconsistent: knows the material some days and doesn’t remember it on other days

  • A downward trend in achievement scores can be noted



Definitions of Dyslexia
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) research - 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.  


According to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) - 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.


The above definition has been adopted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).



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