Our Readers' Opinions
August 30, 2011
Dyslexia Aixelsyd

Tue, Aug 30, 2010

by Lynden Punnett

What is Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a combination of difficulties that affect the learning processes of reading, spelling and writing. It is a persistent condition.{{more}}

Weaknesses in:-

speed processing

short-term memory


sequencing and

spoken language and motor skills.

There may also be difficulties with auditory and/or visual perception, and it is particularly related to mastering and using written language, which may include alphabetic, numeric and musical notation.

Dyslexia can occur despite normal intellectual ability and teaching. It is part of one’s make- up and independent of socio-economic or language background.

Some learners have very well developed creative skills and/or interpersonal skills; others have strong oral skills. Some have no outstanding talents. ALL HAVE STRENGTHS.

Possible difficulties:

Reading hesitantly

Misreading, making understanding difficult

Difficulty with sequences

Poor organization or time management

Difficulty organizing thoughts clearly

Erratic spelling

Possible strengths:

Innovative thinkers

Excellent troubleshooters

Intuitive problem solving

Creative in many different ways

Lateral thinkers


If the answer to most of the following questions is ‘Yes’, it would be wise to seek advice:

All ages

Is s/he bright in some ways ,with a ‘block’ in others?

Is there anyone else in the family with similar difficulties?

Does s/he have difficulty carrying out three instructions in sequence?

Was s/he late in learning to talk, or speak clearly?

Ages 7-11

Does s/he have particular difficulty in reading and spelling?

Does s/he put figures or letters the wrong way e.g. 15 for 51, 6 for 9, b for d, was for saw?

Does s/he read a word, then fail to recognize it further down the page?

Does s/he spell a word several different ways without recognizing the correct version?

Does s/he have poor concentration span for reading and writing?

Does s/he have difficulty understanding time and tense?

Does s/he confuse left and right?

Does s/he answer questions orally, but have difficulty writing the answer?

Is s/he unusually clumsy?

Does s/he have trouble with sounds in words. e.g. poor sense of rhyme?



S/he’s not listening.

S/he may have difficulty remembering a list of instructions.

S/he may have problems getting thoughts together coherently for story writing.

S/he may have sequencing problems and may need to be taught strategies to cope/alternative ways of remembering.

S/he’s lazy.

S/he may have difficulty in organizing work and need specific teaching to help her/him.

S/he may be able to answer the questions orally but can’t write them.

The child may have found that the less s/he writes, the less trouble s/he gets into for making mistakes.

S/he’s not concentrating.

S/he may have difficulty in copying accurately. This is often because s/he cannot remember chunks, but needs to look at each letter, write it, then look at the board again, find the place and so on…..

S/he’s careless.

S/he may have very poor handwriting as s/he hasn’t sufficient hand skills to control the pencil.

S/he’s not checking work.

S/he may spell the same word several different ways, if s/he doesn’t have the visual memory to know what is right or the wrong kinaesthetic memory for it to feel right as s/he is writing.

S/he doesn’t look carefully

S/he may have a visual memory deficiency and therefore experience difficulty when interpreting symbols.

S/he’s being awkward / impossible on purpose.

S/he may be able to produce very good work one day and the next “trip up over every word”. “Off days” are quite common and require extra encouragement and understanding.


You may be surprised that:

S/he has good visual eye. (s/he may be able to arrange furniture in

classroom very effectively).

S/he is very imaginative and skilful with his/her hands.

(S/he may be able to make the best models).

S/he’s practical. ( S/he may be able to work the computer before

the others – even perhaps repair it. S/he may be able to start the car when others have failed)

S/he is mad on sport. (S/he may excel at individual sports.)


The teacher/parent needs to recognize that the dyslexic child in the classroom has a different way of learning and therefore needs a different way of teaching. The ratio for dyslexic students in any class could be 1 in 4. 10% of children in UK schools are dyslexic.

The main problems are:-

poor sequencing skills

poor auditory discrimination & memory

poor visual discrimination & memory

poor short term memory

poor self confidence

Lynden Punnett holds a Dip.SpLD.(dyslexia)