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Characteristics of Dyslexia

Students identified as having dyslexia typically experience primary difficulties in phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word reading, reading fluency, and spelling. Consequences may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties in phonological awareness are unexpected for the student’s age and educational level and are not primarily the result of language difference factors. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties.

 

The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:

 

  • Difficulty reading words in isolation
  • Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words
  • Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored without prosody)
  • Difficulty spelling

 

It is important to note that individuals demonstrate differences in degree of impairment and may not exhibit all the characteristics listed above.

 

The reading/spelling characteristics are most often associated with the following:

 

  • Segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness)
  • Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds
  • Holding information about sounds and words in memory (phonological memory)
  • Rapidly recalling the names of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet (rapid naming)

 

Consequences of dyslexia may include the following:

 

  • Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension
  • Variable difficulty with aspects of written language
  • Limited vocabulary growth due to reduced reading experiences

 

 

 

The Dyslexia Handbook Revised 2018: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders (p.1-2)