Specific Learning Difficulties affect the way information is absorbed and processed. They are neurological, usually run in families, and occur independently of intelligence. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.
Dyslexia, what is it?
The British Dyslexia Association gives the following definition, “Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.”
Dyslexia has also been defined as a continuum of difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell, which persist despite the provision of appropriate learning opportunities. These difficulties often do not reflect an individual’s cognitive abilities and may not be typical of performance in other areas.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with Dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because Dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment, and in its more severe forms, will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services.
Tell me some facts…
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and impacts one in five students or about 20% of the population.
Dyslexia impacts males and females at the same rate.
30% of students diagnosed with Dyslexia also experience at least a mild form of ADHD.
Dyslexia impacts all ethnicities and socioeconomic classes at about the same rate.
Around 10-16% of the UK population have Dyslexia. This is between 7.3 and 11.5 million people with a diagnosis.
IQ does not impact Dyslexia; Albert Einstein had an estimated IQ of 160 and was diagnosed as dyslexic.
Dyslexia runs in the family; parents diagnosed as dyslexic are considerably more likely to have dyslexic children.
Some of the most famous dyslexic people include Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, Keira Knightley, Lewis Hamilton, Jennifer Aniston, and Whoopi Goldberg.
It’s estimated up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has some degree of Dyslexia.
Inability to tie shoes and problems reading analog clocks are good predictors of Dyslexia in children.
The word Dyslexia comes from the Greek word “dys”, meaning poor, and “lexis” meaning language. When combined they form Dyslexia – or poor language – and first appeared in writing by Dr. W. Pringle Morgan in England in 1896.
Dyspraxia, what is it?
Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), is a common disorder that affects movement and co-ordination. It can affect co-ordination skills – such as tasks requiring balance, playing sports, or learning to drive a car.
Dyspraxia can also affect the following areas: physical, speech and language, social, eye movements, sensory, spatial awareness, memory, organisation, concentration, emotion, sense of direction and thought to process. Fine motor skills, such as writing or using small objects can also be affected.
As well as a developmental disorder term, Dyspraxia can be used to describe movement difficulties that happen later in life because of damage to the brain, such as from a stroke or head injury.
Tell me some facts…
10% of the UK population has Dyspraxia.
2% of people have severe Dyspraxia.
DCD is thought to be around 3 or 4 times more common in boys than girls.
Dyspraxia frequently coexists with other conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, language disorders, and social, emotional, and behavioural impairments.
Dyspraxia is not the same as Dyslexia.
The signals sent from the brain to the body get muddled.
You do not ‘grow out’ of Dyspraxia.
Dyspraxic brains have to work around 10% harder than a neurotypical brain.
Dyscalculia, what is it?
Dyscalculia is a learning disability in mathematics. People with Dyscalculia have trouble with mathematics and often struggle with key mathematical concepts such as speed, time, and bigger vs smaller. Dyscalculia also causes difficulties with counting, linear structures, and both basic and abstract problems.
In 1974, a Czechoslovakian researcher defined Dyscalculia as a structural disorder of mathematical abilities caused by impairment to the parts of the brain used in mathematical calculations, without simultaneous impairment to general mental abilities.
Tell me some facts…
An estimated 5-10% of people might have Dyscalculia.
There are two types of Dyscalculia; Developmental Dyscalculia and Acquired Dyscalculia.
Dyscalculia is thought to be rooted in the brain’s parietal lobe.
The stereotype that women are worse at maths than men isn’t true; Dyscalculia is present in both men and women equally.
People with Turner syndrome, epilepsy, and Fragile X syndrome are more likely to have Dyscalculia.
Diagnosis numbers are very low for Dyscalculia.
Dysgraphia, what is it?
Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterised by writing disabilities. Specifically, the disorder causes a person’s writing to be distorted or incorrect. In children, the disorder generally emerges when they are first introduced to writing.
The three types of Dysgraphia are, dyslexic, motor, and spatial. The first shows signs of illegible work, poor spelling but fine motor skills are normal. The second shows signs of poor dexterity, poor muscle tone, and/or unspecified motor clumsiness but spelling skills are not impaired. The final shows illegibly written work both spontaneous and copied, with average spelling and motor skills but some letter formation difficulties.
Tell me some facts…
The word Dysgraphia comes from the Greek words “dys” meaning poor/impairment, “graph” meaning the hand’s function in writing and letters formed by the hand, and “ia” meaning to have a condition.
There are three types of Dysgraphia: motor, spatial and dyslexic.
A dyslexic Dysgraphic does not necessarily have Dyslexia.
Cases of Dysgraphia in adults generally occur after some trauma as it is usually associated with damage to the brain’s parietal lobe.
Vision therapy aids children with Dysgraphia as 70% of what a child learns in school is processed through the visual system.
1 in 5 children have difficulty expressing themselves through writing.
75% of children with Dysgraphia are male.
66% of people don’t know about Dysgraphia.