Specific Literacy Difficulties (Dyslexia)

  • Three times as many males as females affected
  • Three types of dyslexia; motor, visual and auditory

Dyslexia is usually diagnosed by a psychologist based on data gathered by teachers and parents. In order to decide whether a child has SLD/dyslexia a picture of the whole child needs to be developed. It is likely that there will be marked deficits in their achievements despite being of average or above ability

SLD causes significant problems with reading writing and spelling, and sometime maths. Short-term memory, concentration, personal organization and sequencing can also be affected. In other respects many people with SLD are very creative.

Things to look out for: problems with phonics, poor short term memory and problems with distinguishing right and left. The child might seem bright in some ways but with a ‘block’ in others. The child may have difficulty with carrying out a sequence of three or more instructions. He/she may write letters and numbers the wrong way round, e.g. 17 for 71, 9 for 6, b for d etc. He/she may write a word in several ways without recognizing the correct version. There can be confusion with left and right and he/she may have a poor sense of rhythm. Learning about time and tense can also cause problems.

In older children he/she may make unexpected errors reading aloud, have difficulty copying and taking notes and spelling. He/she may have problems planning and writing essays and with mental arithmetic. It might take him/her a very long time to read a book with understanding. A lack of self-esteem is often apparent.

Dyslexia can be diagnosed at any stage in a pupil’s life. For many able pupils they are able to use coping strategies for years until the level or amount of work increases to such a state that they can no longer cope. For pupils with dual exceptionalities, e.g. giftedness and dyslexia this is most common.

Case Studies

Teaching Strategies

People who can help: SENCO/Resource Teacher


Further Information

Dyslexia Checklist Information taken from Dyslexia – Successful Inclusion in the Secondary
School edited by Lindsay Peer and Gavin Reid, 2001 London, David Fulton.

Dyslexia and Omega 3 Supplements

Neuro-Developmental Factors in Dyslexia
Identifying Dyslexia (In Touch June 2003)

Articles of Interest

Visual-Spatial Learning
The Power of Visual Thinking – downloadable article.