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Dyslexia is a specific type of learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. It is sometimes known as 'a specific learning or language difficulty (SpLD)'.
Dyslexia can affect different people in different ways and its effects range from mild to severe.
Dyslexia is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities and is not an indication of intelligence or lack thereof. It is biological in origin and is defined by a lack of phonological awareness, which is an ability to convert letter combinations to sounds and vice versa.
The impact of dyslexia is extensive: if you cannot learn to read, you cannot read to learn and everything we do at school and throughout life requires us to have the skills to be able to read fluently and accurately. Above and beyond the difficulties and barriers that dyslexia presents, is the damage that low self-esteem can cause (definition from Dyslexia Action 2012).
However, with the right help and support, strategies to overcome difficulties associated with dyslexia can be learnt and dyslexia needn't be a barrier to achievement.