Dyslexia is a brain-based (i.e., neurobiological) learning disability that inhibits a person’s ability to read. Primary areas of difficulty are word recognition and reading fluency, spelling, and writing.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:
Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. Individuals with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. Dyslexia can be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia.”
A similar definition provided by the International Dyslexia Association describes it as follows:
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
While we have learned that dyslexia affects individuals differently, depending on the degree of their condition and the effectiveness of instruction or remediation they have received, we have also found that we can successfully teach individuals with dyslexia to read. Early identification is ideal, but it is never too late. Appropriate assistance is critical, and explicit, multisensory, structured language instruction is a key to success.
Wilson uses teaching methods that are effective with students with dyslexia to meet our goal of helping these individuals to become independent readers, allowing them to achieve success both in school and in life.