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What is Dyslexia

Dyslexia is an umbrella term used to describe disorders in one of more of the processes involved in understanding and using written language.

The word Dyslexia itself literally means “word blindness” and was first used in the 19th century. Today, educationalists tend to use the term Specific Learning Difficulties to describe the disorders. But it is important to note that many children and adults prefer the term “dyslexic”.

The main association in Ireland is the Dyslexia Association of Ireland formerly known as ACLD.

Generally it is accepted that approximately 8% of the population have Dyslexia, with differing degrees of severity. Of these 8%, 25% have a severe form of the condition, 50% have a moderate form and 25% are mildly affected. This can lead to problems of identification and mild and moderate conditions may not be noticed and those affected will often simply be considered lazy and disruptive. Many adults have described their frustration at not being identified as Dyslexic until later years and many are angry because they could have achieved in education if they had been identified. Those who have a severe deficit are often placed in remedial classes and labelled ‘slow’ again leading to feelings of anger and frustration.