Dyslexia Indentification

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself primarily as a difficulty with reading and spelling. It is a reading disability due to a defect in the brain’s processing of graphic symbols, a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. It is estimated that dyslexia affects between 5% to 17% of the U.S. population.

Although dyslexia is thought to be the result of a neurological difference, it is not an intellectual disability. Dyslexia is diagnosed in people of all levels of intelligence, average, above average, and highly gifted.

Two commonly held beliefs about dyslexia are that children with it are prone to seeing letters or words backward, and that the problem is linked to intelligence. Both beliefs are incorrect. The problem is a linguistic one, not a visual one, in dyslexia. And dyslexia in no way stems from any lack of intelligence. People with severe dyslexia can be brilliant. The effects of dyslexia, in fact, vary from person to person. The only shared trait among people with dyslexia is that they read at levels significantly lower than typical for people of their age. The treatment of dyslexia should be directed to the specific learning problems the person has. The usual course is to modify teaching methods and the educational environment to meet the specific needs of the individual with dyslexia.

The prognosis for people with dyslexia is mixed. The disability affects such a wide range of people, producing different symptoms and varying degrees of severity that predictions are hard to make. The prognosis is generally good, however, for individuals whose dyslexia is identified early, who have supportive family and friends and a strong self-image, and who are involved in a proper treatment program.

Learning Characteristics of Dyslexia

  • Unable to read satisfactorily in spite of adequate intelligence and educational opportunity
  • Work does not reflect intellectual ability
  • Unusual difficulty in handwriting
  • Unusual difficulty in spelling (beyond the weekly spelling test)
  • Unable to write or recite the alphabet in sequence
  • Reversals, rotations, transpositions in reading and writing
  • Directional confusion: left-right, before-after, over-under
  • Poor recall ability, especially for names and words
  • Poor auditory discrimination or confusion with similar speech sounds
  • Unable to copy accurately from the near point, far point, or both
  • Inconsistent: knows the material some days and doesn’t remember it on other days

    Other Characteristics of Dyslexia
  • No definite preference for right or left hand
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Forgets assignments and/or loses papers
  • Lacks organizational skills
  • Short attention span
  • Overly active and disturbing in classroom
  • Unusually passive and withdrawn
  • A downward trend in achievement scores can be noted


Dyslexia Center of Utah



Follow Us