Dyslexia: What Is It?
Dyslexia has been around for a long time and has been defined in numerous ways. However, it is most commonly defined as difficulty in reading, writing, and learning. In most cases, individuals with dyslexia are highly intelligent and creative people who struggle with basic literacy skills.
Dyslexia cannot be attributed to a particular cause as it varies with different types of dyslexia. But experts have attributed most cases of dyslexia to hereditary factors and genes. Research studies have identified specific genes as the cause that contribute to signs of dyslexia in an individual.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia affects about 15 to 20 percent of the whole population. It is most commonly found in children and continues throughout their life. The severity of dyslexia varies based on their age and ranges from mild to severe depending on its type.
Dyslexia is not an illness but only a disorder that can be treated effectively by employing various strategies. With the advent of technology, it has become easier to treat the different types of dyslexia.
The most important part of dyslexia is its diagnosis. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the easier it is for the individual to treat it with various approaches and mechanisms.
6 Types Of Dyslexia
There are no different types of dyslexia, but only subtypes of dyslexia as identified by researchers, Some of the most common ones found in individuals include:
1. Primary Dyslexia
Primary dyslexia is the most common type among the other different types of dyslexia. It is a type of genetically inherited condition which means if the child’s parent has dyslexia, they are also most likely to suffer from learning difficulty.
Primary dyslexia is more of a dysfunction of the left side of the brain, namely the cerebral cortex. It does not change with age, and the severity also varies from mild to severe for people with this type of dyslexia.
However, with timely intervention and appropriate educational assistance, most individuals with this type of dyslexia will be successful in academics. But sadly, there are a lot of others who struggle with reading and writing throughout their whole life.
This common type of dyslexia runs in families and is most often found in men, specifically those who are left-handed.
2. Secondary Dyslexia
The next one among the types of dyslexia is secondary dyslexia, a type of dyslexia caused by brain development problems in the early stages of fetal development.
Before some babies are even born, they go through problems in brain development in the womb, which thereby leads to neurological impairment resulting in learning and reading difficulties in the child While growing up.
Of the different types of dyslexia, secondary dyslexia responds best to the treatment and diminishes as the child ages. Just like, primary dyslexia this type of dyslexia is commonly found in men.
Both these types of dyslexia, namely the primary and secondary dyslexia, are forms of developmental dyslexia since they originate at birth of the individual and last lifelong.
3. Trauma Dyslexia
Trauma dyslexia is also known as acquired dyslexia, is different from the other types of dyslexia.
According to this type of dyslexia, when an adult or child suffers a brain injury from any trauma or disease, they at times develop difficulties related to language processing, which may eventually result in dyslexia.
4. Phonological Dyslexia
This type of dyslexia involves the difficulty of breaking down words into smaller sound units called phonemes. People with dyslexia have no difficulty in processing the sounds from their native language. However, they have trouble with identifying the different sounds that makes a word.
Phonological dyslexia is also known as Dysphonetic dyslexia Auditory Dyslexia.
Some of the signs of phonological dyslexia include:
- The difficulty of blending individual sounds into words
- Trouble in differentiating between individual sounds while reading instructions
- Difficulty in remembering individual sounds of words or sequence of sounds.
- Trouble in analyzing unidentified words because of no proper knowledge of phonetic rules
- Omitting sounds of words and substituting them for others.
- The trouble with a certain type of sounds, specifically vowels
- Addition of unwanted extraneous letters
5. Surface Dyslexia
Among the different types of dyslexia people experience, surface dyslexia is also a common one. Surface dyslexia is defined as the difficulty of reading words spelled differently from how they are usually pronounced.
E.g., words like yacht and subtle can be very challenging for people with surface dyslexia to pronounce.
In this case, most people confuse dyslexia with a problem with eyesight or vision. However, it is important to note that it is caused by how an individual identifies words, letters, and numbers.
Some of the signs of surface dyslexia include:
- Confusion with letters that have different orientations, E.g., similar letters that look alike
- Confusion with reversible letters, e.g., words such as tap and pat
- Very limited vocabulary. They can only recognize very few words instantly
- Omitting letters and words since their eyes do not visually note them
- Difficulty in learning irregular or unfamiliar words
- Difficulty in remembering the shape of the letter while writing
- Unknowingly inserting, substituting, and omitting letters.
6. Visual Dyslexia
Visual dyslexia is different from the other types of dyslexia because visual dyslexia affects the brain’s visual processing, which means the brain does not receive a full picture of what the eyes are seeing in front of them.
The visual problems further lead to further problems in reading and writing.
Some of the signs of visual dyslexia include:
- Letters and objects that are distant appear blurry
- Letters and objects that are nearer appear blurry
- Inability to normally focus your eyes.
Apart from these common types of dyslexia, some other known types of dyslexia include:
Rapid Naming Deficit – Individuals with this type of dyslexia have trouble quickly naming things such as numbers, colors, and letters in an instant. It takes a very long time to process the information and name the things in sequence.
According to experts, the processing speed is directly linked to the reading speed of the individual.
Double Deficit Dyslexia – A person suffering from two different types of dyslexia, namely phonological and the rapid naming deficit, has double deficit dyslexia.
Having a double deficit in dyslexia increases the severity, and the person will have more difficulty with letters and numbers.
Click here to read more about the different types of dyslexia.
Other Learning Disabilities That Occur With Dyslexia
Many other learning disabilities occur along with dyslexia which is not exactly dyslexia.
An individual who is diagnosed with dyslexia may also suffer from:
- Dysgraphia – Dysgraphia refers to the difficulty in writing where the individual has trouble holding a pencil and controlling it to use it correctly on paper.
- Dyscalculia – Most people think of dyscalculia as a form of dyslexia which is not the case; rather, it is a type of disorder where people have trouble with math.
- Right or Left Disorder – Right or left dyslexia is also dubbed as directional dyslexia, where people have difficulty distinguishing between left and right with trouble in sensing directions. Most people with dyslexia have this disorder, according to experts.
How To Manage Different Types Of Dyslexia?
There is no instant cure for dyslexia, but a range of different approaches can be employed to make everyday tasks much easier.
Dyslexia affects each individual differently, and most people find different ways to cope with their learning differences.
It is best to diagnose dyslexia early in childhood as it comes with many long-term benefits. Managing different types of dyslexia in children include:
- Evaluating individual needs: A proper evaluation of the child’s needs will help the teacher plan and develop a targeted program for the child.
- Adapting different learning tools – children with dyslexia are unique and may require learning tools that penetrate their senses like vision, hearing, and touch.
- Proper guidance and support – proper counseling eliminate the feeling of being left out and lessen the effects it has on their self-esteem. Some other forms of support include as such giving extra time during exams.
- Continuous evaluation: the evaluation must not be stopped in the early days of childhood alone and should be continued as it may benefit their adult life. It helps to identify the areas they need more support and the evolution of coping strategies as they grow.
Some other tips for studying with dyslexia according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and creativity include:
- Effective time management strategies include breaking up the work into small different pieces and drafting it before starting the work.
- Using helpful tools like flashcards and effectively incorporating technology into study methods such as the text to voice technology.
- Making use of a color-coding system or highlighters to organize notes in a visually appealing way.
- Working in a calm, quiet place with earplugs or devices helps to keep the unwanted distractions at bay.
With the right help and assistance, we can overcome dyslexia. However, knowing how to identify dyslexia in the earlier stages is as important as knowing the different types of dyslexia. The sooner the dyslexia is treated, the easier it is for the person to overcome it.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.