The Face of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a Specific Language Disability. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and reading (decoding) skills. These impediments often result from a shortfall in the phonemic component of language. Dyslexia may also lead to problems with reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can interfere with vocabulary development.

While it is easy to focus on the negative learning experiences associated with dyslexia it is also important to focus on strengths. People with dyslexia often are highly intelligent and may demonstrate strengths in creativity, problem solving and emotional intelligence. Following is a list of characteristics that the Specific Language Disability child may display.

  • Difficulty with reading
  • May read at year level but not commensurate with intelligence
  • May struggle with spelling, leaving out or misplacing letters
  • Spelling may show a misunderstanding of vowel sounds
  • May have poor reading comprehension but strong oral comprehension
  • May mispronounce, misuse, or fail to retain words
  • May have difficulty with handwriting, letter formation and sentence/paragraph structure
  • May confuse similarly appearing words – country/ county; historical/hysterical
  • May have difficulty expressing themselves verbally
  • Excellent thinking skills: a strong ability to conceptualize and reason
  • Great imaginations – they can deal with abstract concepts
  • An ability to learn best when learning is connected and has meaning; may not do well with rote memorization (spelling lists, math facts)
  • Has a strong ability to see the big picture
  • Can think ‘outside the box’
  • Have a high level of understanding and comprehension when read to
  • Can understand at a high level when there is a high degree of interest in topic, may become an ‘expert’ in a particular area of interest
  • Excellence in non-reading activities (such as maths, computer work or the visual arts)
  • May exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence