Dyslexia is a learning disorder which mainly manifests through one's inability to read, spell or write correctly and successfully. However, this is a very complex condition manifesting uniquely in every patient. Thus, the symptoms of dyslexia may range from very mild to fairly severe. Basically, people with dyslexia have problems with phonological awareness, verbal memory and the speed of verbal processing.
Factors affecting Dyslexic People
Speaking of phonological awareness, it is considered to be the key of learning how to read and write. Namely, this awareness allows us to recognize phonemes and differentiate them from one another. Phonemes are small units of sounds all words consist of. When phonemes are changed, words are changed respectively, along with their meaning. Thus, changing a single phoneme in the word “cat” can lead to creation and utterance of the word “bat”. Dyslexic people have troubles noticing this difference and all other phonetic changes as well.
As for verbal memory, it is a notion depicting one's capability of memorizing verbal information over a short course of time. Basically, dyslexic people have problems in remembering sequences of words such as colors or any longer instructions issued verbally. Thus, their verbal memory capabilities are often poor.
Finally, verbal processing is a skill which enables people to recognize letters and digits, as well as the meaning of certain sequences of these constituents. For example, we all read letters one by one, and we are capable of noticing the meaning between “b”, “b” and “c” (BBC) placed next to one another. However, dyslexic people will not be capable of finding a connection due to their lack of verbal processing speed.
Other Facts about Dyslexia
Contrary to popular beliefs, dyslexia is not connected to a lack of intelligence. Therefore, both extremely intelligent and mentally impaired children can suffer from this condition. Also, if children with average intelligence suffer from mild dyslexia, they are likely to read and write better than extremely intelligent children suffering from severe forms of this condition.
Today, up to 8% of children in England suffer from some level of dyslexia, the condition being more commonly seen in boys than in girls. Yet, it is not connected to ethnic background, even though its severity may depend on the native language of the dyslexic person.
The causes of dyslexia are yet a mystery. But, since the condition may run in families, genetics may be responsible, affecting normal development of the brain. Fortunately, about 95% of dyslexics manage to achieve normal reading and writing, as well as spelling levels, through practicing and hard work.