Definition of Dyslexia

The Rose Report

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

  • Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
  • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
  • A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention.

This definition of dyslexia was published in 2009 by Sir Jim Rose in an independent report. It is used in schools, colleges and universities across the UK.

British Dyslexia Association

In addition to the characteristics listed above, the BDA states that:

‘some individuals with dyslexia can experience visual and auditory processing difficulties. People with dyslexia can show a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process.’

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