What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder and is characterised by difficulty in reading words, reading very slowly and poor ability to spell. The word originally stems from the Greek language and translates into “problems with words”.
Dyslexia is not a disease and cannot be cured but there are ways to help dyslexic children (and adults) to overcome the hurdles. Dyslexia is highly hereditary and can be observed to be passed down in generations within families.
The verbal short term processing memory is affected. A malfunction causes a person to not be able to retain the information for long enough to be able to read a word out aloud or spell it on paper once heard. The main problem lies in the ability to associate the correct sound with the correct letter. This causes problems with single word reading. This in return causes a poor development of the persons phonemic awareness which is key to decode and spell words.
Parents often tell of their dyslexic children maybe lacking in reading tasks but that they excel in other areas. Dyslexia used to be considered an intellectual disability. We know today that this is far fro true. Intellect is not affected. Instead the dyslexic brain is simply wired differently. And with the right support what appears to be a disadvantage can be turned into an advantage if not a superior skill.
Many successful and well known people are known to be dyslexic (Richard Branson, steven Spielberg, Albert Einstein, Picasso, Tom Cruise to just name a few). A Dyslexic brain is good at problem solving, has an inquisitive nature, finds it easy to comprehend new ideas and complex concepts.Dyslexics also show very good analytic and creative thinking (outside the box) and have a very good visual understanding and seeing the big picture.