The abilities to read and express oneself are crucial functions for a successful and fulfilling life. To most people, these skills seem basic and even taken for granted by puberty, but nothing could be farther from the truth for those who cope with dyslexia (specific reading disability). According to the National Institutes of Health (2011), dyslexia is a “brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person's ability to read. These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence.” While dyslexia remains a topic of much debate, the NIH says common symptoms include “difficulty with spelling, phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), and/or rapid visual-verbal responding.”
Dyslexia can have far-reaching implications and is receiving increased attention from researchers and the education system. It can impact reading, comprehending others and spoken language -- inside and outside the classroom. Still, it has special significance for professionals in the field of learning disabilities, who need to help dyslexic students to develop learning techniques and to cope with self-esteem issues. This paper takes an in-depth look at dyslexia, examining some of the research on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, impact on students, teachers and parents, and suggested treatments.
Researchers haven’t identified the exact causes of dyslexia but they made progress showing it has a neuro-biological origin. By definition, dyslexia is not caused by low intelligence, since dyslexia refers to difficulties that occur despite normal IQ and instruction. Reading depends on two component processes: word identification and language comprehension. Vellutino, Fletcher, Snowling, & Scanlon (2004) reviewed evidence from the last 40 years and conclude that dyslexia is not a visual problem, but rather a deficiency in phonological (letter-sound) skills. “Compared with normally developing readers,...