• The Dyslexia Spectrum



    There used to be very little known about dyslexia, but advances in modern medicine, especially in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have led to a greater understanding of the human brain and this condition.

    Here are some interesting facts:

    • More than 25 million Americans struggle with dyslexia
    • Approximately half of all diagnosed cases of dyslexia have a genetic basis (family member)
    • One in twenty (5%) children have a severe case of dyslexia
    • About one in five (17% - 20%) has a milder case of dyslexia, in degrees of severity
    • Mild cases may not need intervention, but moderate to severe cases do
    • Phonics programs are not appropriate for dyslexics
    • The most avid reader reads in 2 DAYS what the most reluctant reads in a YEAR!
    • What you know is directly related to the amount you read

    Severe Dyslexia

    • Permanent type of dyslexia that improves little with age
    • Found in 2-5% of the population
    • Family history
    • Intensive early training can raise most to a reading level between 4th and 6th grade level
    • Spelling skills rarely rise over 4th grade
    • Students often are referred to special education as gap between peers grows

    Mild to Moderate Dyslexia

    • With proper intervention can seem to diminish as a person matures
    • Equal ratio- boys to girls
    • Family history

    Types of Dyslexia

    Visual dyslexia- visual interpretation of printed symbols

    • Most easily diagnosed
    • Has nothing to do with visual acuity
    • Information is scrambled in the language portion of the left side of the brain
    • Reversals, transpositions, inversions, mirror images, and scrambled sequences ARE NOT the sole determination of dyslexia...it is only one of many indicators

     Auditory dyslexia- inability to hear separate sounds within spoken language

    • Most common type of dyslexia, also known as phonological deficit
    • Cortex does not process speech sounds accurately
    • Sounds do not register well, out of order or incorrect
    • Use of similar sounding words
    • Chunks of message are left out
    • Blocks development of spelling
    • Tone deafness


    Dysgraphia- poor graphmotor or writing ability

    • Dysgraphia is not sloppy handwriting
    • It is a lack of automaticity in the writing process
    • Awkward control of the pencil; odd pencil grip, thumb crosses over
    • Can't make letters "sit" on a straight line
    • Inconsistent letter slant, sizing, and spacing
    • Odd beginning and ending points for letters
    • Cannot copy from board; copies letter by letter (poor visual memory)
    • Cramped or illegible handwriting
    • Many suffer from hand cramps
    • Handwriting gets more illegible the longer they write
    • Appears to draw the letters