Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that typically impacts 5-20% of the population regarding reading and writing. Common characteristics of dyslexia include difficulty with spelling, manipulation of sounds within words (known as phonological processing) and/or quickly connecting visual symbols with verbal labels (called rapid naming). Its impact varies with every person who struggles with it due to differing levels of severity, the effectiveness of instruction and level of assistance the person has had in order to improve these skills.
There are several things that dyslexia is not. It is not a reflection of how smart someone is or his/her wish to be successful. It isn’t a problem with perception that impacts vision. It is connected to different ways in which the brain processes and interprets language. People with dyslexia have trouble analyzing words. They also have difficulty with the sound-to-symbol connection (phonological analysis), meaning transforming the letters and sounds from the underlying neural system in order to form the sound-to-symbol relationship.
Professionals working in the field emphasize that early identification and treatment is a key for improving achievement in school and life; this can be accomplished with a comprehensive evaluation within our Learning Disabilities Clinic. One rule of thumb that we share with our clients is this: the more days per week of intervention (volume) and number of hours per day (intensity), the greater the possibility of a better treatment outcome.