An Overview of Dyslexia
- The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek and means 'difficulty with words'.
- It is a life long, usually genetic, inherited condition and affects around 10% of the population.
- Dyslexia occurs in people of all races, backgrounds and abilities, and varies from person to person: no two people will have the same set of strengths and weaknesses.
- Dyslexia occurs independently of intelligence.
- Dyslexia is really about information processing: dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear. This can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills.
- Dyslexia is one of a family of Specific Learning Difficulties. It often co-occurs with related conditions, such as dyspraxia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder.
- On the plus side, dyslexic people often have strong visual, creative and problem solving skills and are prominent among entrepreneurs, inventors, architects, engineers and in the arts and entertainment world. Many famous and successful people are dyslexic.
How it feels to be dyslexic.
‘I see things from a different perspective.’
‘I can come up with solutions no one else has thought of and I think fast on my feet.’
‘When I am reading, occasionally a passage will get all jumbled up, but when it happens I have to read and re-read the passage over again.
‘I know what I want to say, but I can never find the right words.’
‘In formal situations, although I know what I want to say, I struggle, lose focus and then my mind goes blank and I panic.'
‘I have the right ideas, but I can’t get them down on paper.’
‘It’s like my computer crashing with too much information!’
‘Sometimes when I am being told what to do, the words I hear get all jumbled up in my mind and I just can’t take in what is being said to me.’
‘In general conversation with family, friends and colleagues they usually accept that I tend to ramble, forget and repeat,…. because that’s part of me’.
For more detailed information see Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties in Adults.
Making Dyslexia Work for You, 2nd Edition, by Vicki Goodwin, Bonita Thomson, published by Routledge (2011) ISBN: 978-0-415-59756-2 http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415597562/
Dyslexia: How to Survive and Succeed at Work – by Sylvia Moody. Published by Vermilion (2006) ISBN-10: 009190708X
The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, by Brock Eide and Fernette Eide published by Hay House UK Ltd. (2011) ISBN 9781848506398
Where to look for help:
Further information sheets in this section for Adults and Employers offer extensive information and details of sources of advice.
The B.D.A's National Helpline, staffed by volunteers, is open from 10:00am until 4:00pm Monday to Friday, and open late on Wednesday from 5:00pm- 7:00pm. Alternatively you can contact the Helpline via email email@example.com.
The Helpline is completely free and confidential for all those who are in touch with dyslexia for every age group.
All information, advice and signposting is completely confidential and impartial enabling the caller to make important choices and decisions for themselves.
Some Local Dyslexia Associations have helpliners specialising in information for dyslexic adults. Others have general helpliners who may be able to help with adult enquiries.
Support groups and meetings.
Many Local Dyslexia Associations have meetings for adult dyslexics.
Developmental Adult Neuro-Diversity Association (DANDA).
DANDA can advise people with conditions such as dyspraxia, A.D.H.D. and Asperger's Syndrome. DANDA also have meetings for adults with dyslexia and related conditions.
Assessment, Advice, Tuition.
There is a list of B.D.A. Organisational Members available. Some of these offer services to dyslexic adults. They usually charge for these services. The B.D.A. Helpline and Local Dyslexia Associations may know of other facilities.
Other sources of help.
- The Disability Employment Advisor at your local Job Centre.
- Adult Basic Education Centre.
- C.A.B: Citizens' Advice Bureau.
- Your council's Neighbourhood Office.
- Your trade union, if applicable.
- Your local Disability Information Service (http://www.dialuk.info)
British Telecom services.
- Free Directory Enquiries is a service for anyone who is unable to use a Telephone Directory easily. It is available to diagnosed dyslexic people.
- For registration details call free on Tel: 195.
- Anyone can call for contact details of businesses and services, e.g. to ask for a taxi service in your area.
Email discussion group.
This is a dyslexia forum and includes discussions by and for dyslexic people.