The general definition of dyslexia is:
A language processing difficulty, which manifests in a person’s ability to read, spell and write.
What does this mean? Practically speaking, it means that, when a person reads or writes, they may jumble letters around. Because of this, they may confuse the meaning of certain words.
- A dyslexic person might read a word and process its meaning backwards. E.g. – the word “dog” becomes “god.”
- A dyslexic person might confuse consonants. E.g. – “b” becomes “d” or “q” becomes “p.” In these cases the word “box” might become “pox.”
- A dyslexic person might ignore or confuse punctuation marks. E.g. – the word “it’s” becomes “its.”
- A dyslexic person might have difficulty recognizing numbers. E.g. “6” gets confused with “9.”
- A dyslexic person might have difficulty deciphering multi-syllabic words or rhymes.
- Dyslexics might leave out ‘small function’ words such as: “that,” “is,” “an,” etc. Or they confuse such words with other words: E.g. – the word “were” becomes “where,” etc.
Dyslexia is therefore a learning disorder. But these examples only scratch the surface. A more comprehensive list of the symptoms of dyslexia would certainly include:
- obstacles with reading and writing.
- problems with mathematical computations.
- problems with auditory processing.
- difficulty applying organizational skills.
- poor memory.
- sensitivity to light.
- delays in visual and/or phonic processing.
It is very important to remember that unlike other disorders whose symptom are universal and rote, dyslexia manifests itself from patient to patient in shockingly different ways. A dyslexic person can experience any number of the above symptoms, and to varying degrees. For this reason, it’s accurate to say that – just as with snowflakes – no two dyslexics are ever alike.