- Dyslexia is a specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain's (higher cortical) processing of graphic symbols. Dyslexia is thus a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. The effects of dyslexia vary from person to person. The only common trait among people with dyslexia is that they read at levels significantly lower than typical for people of their age and intelligence. Dyslexia is different from reading retardation which may, for example, reflect mental retardation or cultural deprivation. Treatment of dyslexia should be directed to the specific learning problems of affected individuals. The usual course is to modify teaching methods and the educational environment to meet the specific needs of the individual with dyslexia. The prognosis (outlook) for people with dyslexia is mixed. The disability affects such a wide range of people, producing different symptoms and varying degrees of severity, that predictions are hard to make. The prognosis is generally good, however, for individuals whose dyslexia is identified early, who have supportive family and friends and a strong self-image, and who are involved in a proper remediation program. This entry is based in part upon information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
* * *Impaired reading ability with a competence level below that expected on the basis of the individual's level of intelligence, and in the presence of normal vision and letter recognition and normal recognition of the meaning of pictures and objects. SYN: incomplete alexia. [dys- + G. lexis, word, phrase]
* * *dys·lex·ia dis-'lek-sē-ə n a variable often familial learning disability involving difficulties in acquiring and processing language that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling, and writing
* * *n.a developmental disorder selectively affecting a child's ability to learn to read and write. The condition affects boys more often than girls and can create serious educational problems. It is sometimes called specific dyslexia, developmental reading disorder, or developmental word blindness to distinguish it from acquired difficulties with reading and writing. Compare alexia.• dyslexic adj.
* * *dys·lex·ia (dis-lekґse-ə) [dys- + lexis word + -ia] inability to read, spell, and write words, despite the ability to see and recognize letters; a familial disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance that occurs more frequently in males. Cf. alexia. dyslexic adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.