top of page


What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty learning to read. Children with dyslexia struggle with phonology, or the recognition and manipulation of sounds in language. Dyslexia affects a child’s ability to decode words — to break them down into constituent sounds, or phonemes, and then to sound out novel words. That makes it hard to recognize words, to retrieve words, to read, to write and to spell. Some children with dyslexia just have problems quickly retrieving words.

What You See

The result is a discrepancy between ability and achievement: a child who is struggling with reading despite having the intelligence to be a much better reader. A dyslexic child isn’t lacking in intelligence, and isn’t necessarily failing in school, since some kids with dyslexia, by putting in a great deal more effort than their peers, are able to keep up with their work, at least in the first few grades. However, it often becomes impossible for them to keep up as they move through school, when they are expected to be able to read fluently — quickly, easily and automatically.
While they may learn to read and compensate for reading weakness in other ways, children do not outgrow dyslexia.

Social and Emotional

While we tend to think of dyslexia as a reading disorder, it also has an effect on a child’s social and communication skills. Since it can interfere with being able to retrieve words quickly, dyslexia can hinder a child’s ability to interact with peers in a typical way, and respond appropriately in social situations. “A dyslexic person who has word-finding difficulties can have trouble with their expressive language,” explains Scott Bezsylko, the executive director of Winston Preparatory School, which specializes in teaching kids with learning disorders. “That has a social impact, in addition to your difficulties with reading and writing, that make you feel not so good about yourself.”

Children who are dyslexic, at least until they are diagnosed, often become frustrated and ashamed at their inability to learn to read, and the implication that they are either lazy or stupid. “A lot of our work with dyslexic kids is to help them rediscover that they are smart and capable,” notes Beszylko, “because they’ve stopped believing in themselves.”

Signs of Dyslexia:

  • have difficulty identifying individual sounds in words – for example, they have trouble identifying the first sound in the word ‘sit’ or the middle sound in ‘foot’

  • have difficulty sounding out words – for example, they can’t sound out the word ‘cat’ as the sounds c-a-t

  • have difficulty putting sounds together to make words – for example, they can’t put together the sounds b-a-t to sound the word ‘bat’

  • try to guess and memorise words instead of sounding out words when reading

  • struggle to remember words even when they’ve read and/or written the words many times

  • have more trouble reading and spelling than other children the same age

  • get a lot of words wrong when reading aloud – they might sometimes struggle with short, common words and have particular trouble with longer words

  • avoid reading or don’t want to read

  • read without speed, fluency, rhythm or intonation

  • prefer to listen to others reading aloud

  • have poor spelling skills

  • have poor vocabulary.

How the dyslexia brain works and how multi-senory intervention changes how the brain processes language.

2023-07-14 11.39.41.jpeg
bottom of page