What is dyslexia?
Many professionals prefer to use the term specific learning difficulties when referring to dyslexia. The umbrella term ‘specific learning difficulties’ covers other learning differences, such as ADHD, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADD and Asperger’s syndrome, as often dyslexic individuals are usually affected by more than one learning difficulty within the syndrome mix. Therefore, a dyslexic person might have a specific learning difference in a few cognitive areas connected to the acquisition of learning reading, spelling and oral/or written language. They may or may not also have difficulty in motor skills, processing, short-term memory, number work, sequencing and auditory and/or visual perception. Dyslexic learners who tend to be right hemisphere dominant often display strengths in intuition, thinking creatively, being sensitive, impulsive and having a unique approach to problem solving. Therefore, dyslexic individuals can often find processing information and learning in a traditional left-hemisphere mainstream classroom problematic. When there is a mismatch between the student’s preferred learning style and the teaching provision along with an unsupportive learning environment, this mismatch can cause major barrier to the dyslexic learner’s academic success. Since everyone has a different learning style and communication styles vary because one size does not fit all, it is important for students to know how they learn best and utilise effective strategies to help them to reach their full potential to progress. It is also important for parents and teachers to know their young people’s preferred learning and communication styles and adjust their communication and learning environments accordingly. For further information about dyslexia, please visit the BDA website www.bdadyslexia.org.uk. Technological information can be found at www.bdatech.org.