What is Dyslexia? – A Brief Overview
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is one of a family of Specific Learning Difficulties which affects 10% of the population, 4% severely, it primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. It is a life long condition, usually hereditary, and can range from mild to severe. It can affect people of all races, is not reliant on social class, ability, gender and occurs independently of intelligence.
What impact does it have?
Individuals who are dyslexic can be affected in different ways in and with varying levels of difficulty. Some of the areas affected are :
-Speed of processing
-Short term memory
Other traits …
Many people with dyslexia have other strengths that can compensate for some of the difficulties they may experience, these can include: excellent problem solving skills, good spatial awareness and a high level of creativity.
Under the ‘Disability Discrimination Act’, Dyslexia is an officially recognised disability and should not hold anyone back when applying for university, reasonable adjustments should be made to enable dyslexic students to be on an equal footing with non- dyslexic peers. Students are usually entitled to access support from the DSA and it is important that this should be applied for as soon as a university place has been confirmed. Support can vary and is dependent on a person’s individual needs but can include :
-Exam concessions, these can include extra time, a scribe, reader etc
-Extra time to complete assignments
-Extra tutorials to aid understanding
-Disabled students allowances
-A Study Skills tutor
Albert Einstein, the famous theoretical physicist is also thought to have been dyslexic.Famous quotes include:
“The words of the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought.” (Hadamard, 1945, 142-3; see also Wertheimer, 1959, 213-228).
“I very rarely think in words at all, a thought comes and I may try to express it in words afterwards” (Wertheimer, 1959, 213)
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