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Definition of Dyslexia

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Many state education codes, including New Jersey, Ohio and Utah, have adopted this definition. Learn more about how consensus was reached on this definition: Definition Consensus Project.

Dyslexia at a Glance

Dyslexia affects people of all backgrounds and intelligence levels.  Dyslexia is the most common learning disability.  Over 40 million American Adults are dyslexic - and only 2 million know it. One in five students has dyslexia.  Dyslexia can affect reading, spelling, writing, handwriting, math, and so much more. 


Dyslexia is a neurological condition caused by a different wiring of the brain. There is no cure for dyslexia and individuals with this condition can learn.


Research indicates that dyslexia has no relationship to intelligence. Individuals with dyslexia are neither more nor less intelligent than the general population. But the way individuals with dyslexia "THINK" and learn in a spatial visual way which can actually be an asset in achieving success.

Learning Deficits that Dyslexics Can Struggle with

Learning Left and Right

Selecting a Dominant Hand

Learning and Mixing up Directional Words

Reversals of Letters and Numbers

Confusion Where to Start Writing or Reading on a Page

Reading and Spelling


Handwriting-Print and Cursive

Linking Sounds with Letters


Following Directions

Learning to Tie Shoes

Learning to Tell Time

Remembering a Phone Number or Address

Sequence of Days of the Week

Sequence of Seasons and Months

Addition & Subtraction Math Facts

Multiplication Math Facts

Learning the sequence of a 2 or 3 Digit Multiplication Problem

Place Value

Confusion on Odd and Even Numbers

Long Division

Mixing up Mirror Imaged Words


Opening a Master Lock

Finding the Correct Word to Use When Speaking or Writing

Rote Memory

Writing a Paragraph or Essay

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