Dyslexia

Dyslexia can be described as a continuum of difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell, which persist despite the provision of appropriate learning opportunities. These difficulties often do not reflect an individual's cognitive abilities and may not be typical of performance in other areas.

The impact of dyslexia as a barrier to learning varies in degree according to the learning and teaching environment, as there are often associated difficulties such as:

· Auditory and /or visual processing of language-based information
· Phonological awareness
· Oral language skills and reading fluency
· Short-term and working memory
· Sequencing and directionality
· Number skills
· Organisational ability.

Dyslexia exists in all cultures and across the range of abilities and socio-economic backgrounds. It is a hereditary, life-long, neurodevelopmental condition.

Learners with dyslexia will benefit from early identification, appropriate intervention and targeted effective teaching, enabling them to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

The details and the origins of dyslexia (and dyspraxia) are the subject of intense research but studies can generally be divided into the four areas of biological, cognitive, behavioural and environmental factors.

BIOLOGICAL

Hereditary Factors: Dyslexia and dyspraxia are probably hereditary: several genes have been implicated. Often, there are many members within a family who are similarly affected. In The Brain: Subtle cortical differences, mainly within the left hemisphere (language centres), but also in the visual and auditory parts of the brain (resulting in reduced efficiency of transmission of this information) Physiological brain function during activities such as reading, learning, etc. has been found to be different in people with dyslexia and dyspraxia when compared with people without SpLDs

COGNITIVE COGNITIVE

Phonological deficit: Problems with phonically. Memory storage and retrieval: Mainly due to problems with short term memory. Speed of processing information: tends to take longer to decode and encode information Lack of automaticity: especially when learning new skills. This is because tasks are learnt using the conscious part of the brain more than for people without SpLDs – Using the conscious brain is more demanding than when using the cerebellum. Visual discomfort: 70% of dyslexics and dyspraxics experience visual sensitivity (compared with 12.5% of the general populous).

BEHAVIOURAL

Accuracy of reading and spelling. Handwriting problems, writing problems. Sustaining attention: because tasks require more attention (in addition to visual and phonic discomfort) sustaining attention requires more effort. Poor organisation and time management: Tend to have poor working short term memory which is needed in order to plan, prioritise and organise. Problems multi- Problems multi-tasking tasking tasking – integrating aspects of a task fluently

ENVIRONMENTAL

Socio economic factors affecting the help that young dyslexics and dyspraxics get Cultural Cultural Attitudes towards dyslexia and dyspraxia. The phonological nature of language and the how it is encoded in written form Teaching provision Teaching provision Dyslexics and dyspraxics need certain things to be taught explicitly and for material to be presented in visual (rather than exclusively verbal) and holistic (rather than exclusively sequential) ways.

The University of Hull - Understanding Dyslexia and Dyspraxia - Page 3 - 2015

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