Dyslexia (say: dis-LEK-see-uh) is a learning problem that lots of children and adults have.
A long time ago, when people didn’t have to read and write, dyslexia wasn’t a problem!
Often other family members have dyslexia too as it can be passed down through the genes from mums and dads.
Having dyslexia can make reading, writing and spelling hard work. People might read slowly or makes lots of spelling mistakes. The problem is inside the brain. The part of the brain that collects all the messages about language can get muddled up.
Having dyslexia can make someone feel tired because of all the extra effort needed to read and spell. They might also feel frustrated or sad, especially if friends are finding it easier to read. But, it doesn’t mean the person isn’t clever. Plenty of talented, creative and successful people struggle with dyslexia. Often people who have dyslexia are good at talking about their ideas and good at working dyslexia can learn to read and things out.
Dyslexia is different for different people. A person with dyslexia might:
- Read and write very slowly
- Make lots of mistakes when reading and writing.
- Find it hard to remember or understand what has just been read.
- Find it hard to remember or understand what has just been said
- Write the order of letters in a word the wrong way round
- Put letters the wrong way round – such as writing ‘b’ instead of ‘d’
- Find it hard to work out separate sounds which make up a word.
- Missing out words or lines when reading, especially when reading aloud.
- Making mistakes when copying from a board
- Problems with neat handwriting
- Problems following and understanding instructions
- Problems learning and remembering how to spell words
- Problems remembering the look of words
However, people with dyslexia often have good skills in other areas, such as creative thinking and problem solving. With help and lots of hard work you can overcome the problems. Which is why it is really important to talk to a parent, carer, teacher or another person you trust.
For some people having dyslexia can be a minor problem but for others it can be much bigger. It can be really hard if you feel sad or tired because of it.
If you have problems in reading, writing and spelling even when you spend a lot of time trying your hardest, then you need to talk. You can talk to your parent or carer and ask them to talk to your teacher, or talk to your teacher yourself.
Your teacher should be able to give you extra support. There might be someone at your school who is there especially to help people with dyslexia. If with extra support you are still struggling they might think it is a good idea to contact a specialist.
Some of the support available might include:
- occasional one-to-one teaching or lessons in a small group with a specialist teacher
- phonics – a special way of learning that helps to focus on the smaller sounds that make up words
- technology, such as computers, that may make it easier for you to read and write.
- Childline is a helpline for children to talk about any problems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – call free on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk/get-support
- If you are in an emergency and there is a risk to life (yours or someone else’s) call 999
- To report any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person call 01454 866000
There is more information in the ‘Getting help’ section.
Talk to a parent or carer or another adult you trust.
Your school can also help with your wellbeing – just ask a teacher or another member of staff.
JIGSAW THORNBURY is a small welcoming group set up by parents to support families with children and young people with any additional needs. This may be learning problems such as dyslexia to complex disabilities or health problems. The weekly support group offers an opportunity for parents to come and share their concerns in a safe and understanding environment. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 07827 322358
British Dyslexia Association – www.bdadyslexia.org.uk UK national organization, offering a wide range of information for parents, dyslexic adults and teachers. The BDA helpline (0333 405 4567 is free and confidential for all dyslexic related calls. Provides dyslexia information and advice surrounding dyslexic issues.
Dyslexia Assist – a small charity formed by parents with dyslexic children to share information and experience in a way that is both unbiased and accessible. We hope that this site and the invaluable contribution from parents and children will help you to help your child. http://dyslexia-assist.org.uk/