Dyslexia (developmental reading disorder)


A developmental reading disorder is specific to information processing in areas of the brain that are involved with language. It is characterised by difficulties with “decoding the written text” – difficulties with making sense of the visual symbols we have associated with certain sounds (phonics) that make up words in spoken or written language. Children with a developmental reading disorder most often have average to above average cognition (intelligence) and often have average to above average oral language comprehension and reasoning.


Characteristics of a reading disorder include:


  • Impaired ability to recognise words
  • Slow and inaccurate reading
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Many errors are made in oral reading (omissions, additions and distortions of words)
  • Poor spellers
  • Dislike of reading and writing and tries to avoid them (often linked to increased anxiety when having to deal with the written, printed language)
  • “word-blind” – cannot recognise a word however many times you see it.




No two children with a reading disorder will present with exactly the same diffiucties – it is thus important that an individualised education plan (IEP) is prepared to deal with specific areas of infomation processing that is negatively effecting a child’s ability to read, write and spell fluently. Specialised educational intervention (one-on-one) is required to address the specific needs of each child.