The term dyslexia has been used because it seems to be the most widely used and most appropiate term. It has been coined from the Greek and literally means difficult with (dys) words (lexis). It refers to difficulty with words read, words spelt, words pronounced, words written, and association of meanings with words.
In most research projects it seems that there is a small group who do not fit nealty into the particular findings. This underlines the danger of dogmatic statements with regard to the nature of dyslexia and emphasizes the paramount importance of seeing each pupil as an individual.
An awarness that there are certain teaching methods and practical approaches which are effective with such children is essential for class teachers of both junior and senior schools and, in many instances, may also be of relevance to adult literacy tutors.
The Dyslexic Child's Feelings
It is worth repeating that difficulties with reading, spelling and hand-writing may have nothing to do with intelligence.
Such difficulties can be found in a perspn of any IQ, from low to high. They are, though, easier to spot in a brighter person because his literacy difficulties surprises parents and teachers. Professor Tim Miles, who has done much research into dyslexia, often says of the dyslexic child's performance, it just doesn't seem to add up! The brighter the child the more frustrated he can become. He cannot analyze why he cannot cope. His friends seem to be able to read and spell without any problem. Why can't he? If teachers tell him either that he's stupid or lazy, or even merely fail to provide reassurance to the contrary, he comes to believe just that.
In every classroom there is probably a dyslexic child; it is probable, of course, that in many classes there are more than one. The situation is often masked when a very bright child gets by as average and is told that he must improve his spelling, handwriting and reading accuracy. Class teachers and subject teachers cannot be expected to give enough individual attention to any one pupil experiencing difficulties, but recognition of the learning difficulty and support in the form of learning strategies can do much for the confidence of a dyslexic child in class.