As formally defined by the International Dyslexia Association:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Essentially, dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects all the skills required for reading, writing and spelling despite normal intellegence. It is sometimes compounded by poor working memory, poor processing speed and poor organization and concentration. Dyslexia is a lifelong difficulty often experienced as a cluster of symptoms that may change in different stages of a person’s life.
In classrooms, dyslexics may be perceived as lazy or unmotivated and often function significantly below their potential. Their difficulties cannot be explained by visual or hearing impairments, emotional/ behavioral disorders or lack of conventional instruction. Elementary grade children with dyslexia may have trouble recognizing words that begin with the same sound, difficulty remembering spoken directions, difficulty with remembering simple sequences like reciting the alphabet and difficulty understanding the rhyming of words. They also often experience difficulties learning to read, spell and express their thoughts in writing.
In the workplace, dyslexics often struggle with what may appear to be basic tasks. They easily become frustrated or overwhelmed with long forms, sequential processes or ‘planning meetings. They may have difficulty focusing or staying on task and though they possess strong work ethic, they may be considered as not working up to their potential. Dyslexics in the workplace may also be unknowingly late to meetings because they read the time wrong; they may miss deadlines for written documents because it takes them longer than average to read and write; their written work may be riddled with errors because they cannot pick up typos, and they may be slow at copying text and numbers.
Dyslexia affects approximately 20% of every population. That means approximately 38 million Nigerians and 260 million suffer from dyslexia.
Below are signs of dyslexia: