What is Dyslexia?

Have a SMART student

who is struggling with reading, writing, math and/or spelling?

It may be DYSLEXIA.

Letter reversals are not the only, or even the most common, sign.

1 in 5 People Suffer from Dyslexia.

You are not alone.

What is Dyslexia?  According to the International Dyslexia Association, “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.”

Watch this fantastic short 5 minute TEDed Video called What is Dyslexia?  

Dyslexia in General:

  • Dyslexia occurs at ALL levels of intelligence. Most students with dyslexia have average or above average IQs. Students can even be gifted with dyslexia, which is known as twice exceptional or “2E.” (See our Twice Exceptional page.)
  • Many children reverse letters. It is not a sure sign of dyslexia. A child can be highly dyslexic and NOT reverse letters.  Visit our Dyslexia: Know the Signs and Strengths page to learn more about what dyslexia looks like in different age children.
  • Each person experiences dyslexia differently. Some may have profound problems reading, while others may read “ok” but have severe problems spelling. Many students have a mild case but may never be diagnosed because they are smart and doing “well enough.” Visit our What Dyslexia Looks Like page to see what some children’s dyslexia looks like. (Coming Soon!)
  • Students with dyslexia can and do learn to read and write well but require the use of an intensive method called “Structured-Literacy” or “Orton Gillingham.” (See our Programs that Work page.)

Dyslexia in Tennessee:

  • In the State of Tennessee, dyslexia falls under the umbrella of “Specific Learning Disability” (SLD). Schools in Tennessee diagnose students with SLD not dyslexia. For a great explanation of SLD in Tennessee go to TNStep.org‘s SLD Fact Sheet.
  • Even though Tennessee does not diagnose students with dyslexia, Tennessee DOES recognize dyslexia. 1) The new Say Dyslexia Law went into effect July 1, 2106. 2) Schools will screen your child for Characteristics of Dyslexia 3) If your child has Characteristics of Dyslexia, school must provide him or her with proper intervention. (See our Programs that Work page.)
  • The Tennessee Department of Education has released a comprehensive Tennessee Dyslexia Guide – so check it out!
  • For an in depth description of how RTI2 and Dyslexia Screening work in Tennessee, please go here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s