Education key to helping those with dyslexia

DYSLEXIA has been brought into the open in recent years, but there remains some misunderstanding and stigma, says the Australian Dyslexia Association.

Dyslexia is different than just misspelling words and being slow at English - those with it have trouble hearing sounds within spoken words, meaning they can often be left behind without knowing why. 

The key is defining the condition early to make sure people can find alternative ways to learn, says association president Jodi Clements. 

With the right help, she said, dyslexia went from a disorder to a difference. 

"The main signs will be difficulty with reading, lack of accuracy and a lack of fluency - but often, people with dyslexia have very good verbal skills and tend to learn better verbally and visually," she said. 

"This is why we need to define it early on in life so we can cater for these needs and adapt."

Ms Clements said often in regional areas, people did not know where to go for help. 

But with increased online resources for teachers and parents, people anywhere could access early intervention tests and follow-up help. 

"In the past it was often ignored and when people reached out, there were so many conflicting opinions," she said. 

"Now we are developing more research and offering great resources online which is great for those in regional areas which are of."

She encouraged parents and teachers in doubt to get their child do a free early intervention test online, to determine a way forward. 

"So often you just don't know if it is dyslexia or something else but it's important to find out," Ms Clements said. 

"There is proof the earlier you get onto this and recognise dyslexia, the quicker people can learn to read and adapt.

"And now, people in regional areas can request a pre-assessment online rather than travel to major towns."

She said it was about bringing it into the open and realising there was nothing to shy away from.

"I want people to say, yes I struggle but there is help available and it's not the end of the world.

"With the right training, people really can just go on with their lives and not let it hold them back."


1. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability. Individuals with this medical condition have difficulty in the areas of language processing

2. 1 in 5 people suffer from dyslexia.

3. About 70 to 85 per cent of children who are placed in special education for learning disabilities are dyslexic.

4. Dyslexia does not reflect an overall defect in language, but a localized weakness within the phonologic module of the brain (where sounds of language are put together to form words or break words down into sounds).

5. People with dyslexia are usually more creative and have a higher level of intelligence.

6. Those with dyslexia use only the right side of the brain to process language, while non-dyslexics use three areas on the left side of the brain to process language.

7. Children have a 50 per cent chance of having dyslexia if one parent has it and a 100 per cent chance if both parents have it.

8. Dyslexia ranges from mild to severe. Around 40 per cent of people with dyslexia also have ADHD. And those with dyslexia use about five times more energy to complete mental tasks.

9. Dyslexia is not a disease so there is no cure. It’s a learning disability that includes difficulty in the use/processing of linguistic and symbolic codes, alphabetic letters representing speech sounds or number and quantities.

10. Dyslexics do not “see” words backwards. The “b-d” letter reversal for example is mainly caused by deficits in interpreting left and right.


Share this post