Working definition of dyslexia: Cross Party Group on Dyslexia 18 November 2008

The following working definition of dyslexia has been produced by the Cross Party Group on Dyslexia in the Scottish Parliament in collaboration with a range of stakeholders including the voluntary agencies, taking account of the earlier version produced by the Scottish Government. This is one of many definitions available. The aim of this particular working definition is to provide a description of the range of indicators and characteristics of dyslexia as helpful guidance for educational practitioners, pupils, parents/carers and others. This definition does not have any statutory basis.

Dyslexia can be described as a continuum of difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell, which does not respond well to conventional teaching techniques. These difficulties often do not reflect an individual’s cognitive ability and are often not typical of performance in other areas.

The impact of dyslexia as a barrier to learning varies in degree according to the learning environment and the demands of the curriculum as there are associated difficulties such as:

·                 auditory and /or visual processing of language-based information

·                 phonological awareness

·                 oral language skills and reading fluency

·                 short-term and working memory

·                 sequencing and directionality

·                 number skills

·                 organisational ability

Motor skills and co-ordination are often affected.

Dyslexia exists in all cultures and across the range of abilities and socio-economic backgrounds.  It is neurological in origin; a hereditary, life-long condition.  Unidentified, dyslexia is likely to result in low self esteem, high stress, atypical behaviour, and low achievement. 

Early identification, appropriate intervention and targeted effective teaching will allow learners with dyslexia to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.