Dyslexia is the most common type of learning difficulty that pupils are likely to experience, with about 10% of the population having some form of it. Dyslexia is identified as a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010.
In October 2007, The BDA Management Board approved the following definition:
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. It is likely to be present at birth and to be lifelong in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties in phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual’s cognitive abilities.
In 2009, Sir Jim Rose’s report, ‘Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties’ gave the following description of dyslexia:
‘Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of a continuum, not a distinct category and there are no clear cut-off points. Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not by themselves markers of dyslexia. A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention.’