Reading and Writing Difficulties.

Learner using mind map software

Did you know that many people experience difficulties with their reading and writing?

Recent research indicates that 1 in 5 people may have difficulties with their reading and writing, in particular dyslexia-type difficulties.

Assist-IT can offer practical information, support, advice and assessments on how assistive technologies can help with reading and writing difficulties.

Some Dyslexia Facts (source: The Dyslexia Institute)

- About 10% of the population have some form of dyslexia.

- About 4% are severely dyslexic, including some 375,000 schoolchildren.

- Dyslexia causes difficulties in learning to read, write and spell.

- Short-term memory, mathematics, concentration, personal organisation and sequencing may be affected.

- Dyslexia is biological in origin and tends to run in families, but environmental factors may also contribute to it.

- Dyslexia affects all kinds of people regardless of intelligence, race or social class.

- The effects of dyslexia can largely be overcome by skilled specialist teaching and the use of compensatory strategies.

- The earlier the intervention the better the outcome.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexic learner

'Dys' means 'difficulty' and 'lexia 'means 'words'. Dyslexia is a disorder that affects millions of people all over the world. It is one type of specific learning disability that affects a person's ability to read and write.

A Dyslexic learns at his/her own level and pace, and typically excels in one or more other areas.

Some of their experiences include difficulties with concentration, perception, memory, verbal skills, abstract reasoning, hand-eye coordination, social adjustment (low self-esteem is a commonly observed behavioural characteristic), poor grades, and underachievement.

Often, people with Dyslexia are considered to be lazy, rebellious, unmotivated, problematic, or of low intelligence.

These misconceptions, without understanding dyslexia's effect on the person's life, lead to rejection, isolation, feelings of inferiority, discouragement, and low self-esteem.

What causes Dyslexia?

The causes for dyslexia are neurobiological and genetic. Research shows that individuals inherit the genetic links for dyslexia. One of your immediate family members (parent, spouse, aunt, uncle, brother, or sister) is dyslexic. More than one of your children could also be dyslexic

Dyslexia Basics

Dyslexic children can usually succeed at the same levels as others once they are diagnosed and start receiving extra support and attention at home and school. Children suspected of suffering from dyslexia undergo a series of reading, spelling, drawing, math and intelligence tests, as well as visual tests, laterality tests, visual scanning tests, sequencing and other tests to examine which brain functions are interfering with their acquisition of normal school learning.

Dyslexia also affects adults, but those who receive attention early in life often learn how to compensate for the disability by adulthood. Dyslexic adults, however, tend to continue to have difficulty with language skills throughout their lives.

The BRITE Project: Guide to Dyslexia

Guide to Dyslexia

The BRITE (Beattie Resources for Inclusiveness in Technology and Education) website provides an excellent overview and guide to dyslexia.

This online resource, from BRITE, tackles the subject of dyslexia in an informal but informative way. College students introduce the guide in a friendly and reassuring manner. They describe what the condition means to them, how it affects their experiences of learning and what helps them to cope with studying.

The guide has been designed with further education in mind, but students in higher education and senior pupils in school are likely to find the resource useful as well.

To find out more about the BRITE guide to dyslexia select this link

To find out about the wide range of software solutions to support learners with reading and writing difficulties, select this link

To find out more about dyslexia and reading and writing difficulties see the links below:

Useful links:

The British Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia 'The Gift'

The Dyslexia Institute

Dyslexia Teacher

Dyslexia Scotland

Dyslexia Institute Scotland

Dyslexia and Advice for Teachers

Dyslexia and Study Skills

SEMERC (Dyslexia Screener)