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Reading Disorder

formally known as Dyslexia

Developmental Reading Disorder (DRD) or Dyslexia is defect of the brains higher cortical processing of symbols. Children with DRD may have trouble rhyming and separating the sounds in spoken words.

As measured by a standardized tests, the patient's ability to read (accuracy or comprehension) is substantially less than you would expect considering age, intelligence and education. This deficiency materially impedes academic achievement or daily living.

Associated Features:

Deficits in Expressive Language and Speech Discrimination are usually present.
Expressive Writing Disorder is often present.
Visual Perceptual Deficits are seen in only about 10% of cases.
Disruptive Behavior Disorders may also be present, particularly in older children and adolescents.

Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and / or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

Dyslexia in the Pre-school Child

Delay or difficulty in development of clear speech and a tendency to jumble words and phrases over some time.

Difficulty with dressing efficiently, tying shoe laces, and putting clothes on in the right order.

Unusual clumsiness and difficulty with co-ordination.

Poor concentration such as when stories are read to them.

Ambidextrous or left-handedness.

Inability to associate sounds with words.

Inability to appreciate rhyme.

Family history of similar difficulties.

Not all dyslexic children show these all these signs. Many small children make these same mistakes and should not cause concern where any of these occur occasionally. Dyslexia is likely when difficulties are severe and persist over a number of years, or where there are several such difficulties in a milder form.

At ages 5-7

Inability to learn the alphabet or the sounds represented by the letters.

Inability to read except for a very few simple words.

Inability to put sounds together to make words.

Inability to use a pencil to write properly.

Inability to remember sequences.

Difficulty telling right from left.

Continued difficulty with tying shoelaces, dressing

Continued difficulty with co-ordinated activities.

Inattention and poor concentration.

At ages 7-11

Poor progress in academic subjects compared with classmates.

Low frustration, often leading to behavioral problems or becoming withdrawn and quiet.

Inability to learn multiplication tables.

Inability to follow a number of instructions or remember more than one thing at a time.

Inattention and poor concentration.

At ages 11-16

Difficulty in organizing work.

Problems copying.

Problems with dictation.

Difficulty writing down oral instructions.

Growing lack of self-confidence and increasing frustration.

Difficulty in studying for and coping with exams.

Slowed by reading difficulties, most work takes very much longer than average.

Continued problems with spelling, writing. Inconsistent in what they seem to know.

Tendency to read inaccurately and without comprehension.

Severe difficulty in learning foreign languages.

At 16+

Students who continue in further education have usually developed strategies to get to grips with their problems. Most students will have identified a number of subjects at which they may excel. They often have the advantage of superior practical skills (e.g. woodwork, art or crafts). Many dyslexics progress to university or any other chosen field without discrimination or difficulty


Genetic and neurobiological research essential confirms psychological research in this area. Family studies show a reading disorder is heritable, aggregates in families, and probably reflects autosomal dominant transmission. The brains of individuals with reading disorders are organized somewhat differently and appear to process the phonological information in a less efficient, more diffuse manner.


Remedial instruction has remained the best approach to this type of reading disorder therefore, learning disorders are treated with specialized educational methods. In addition to special classroom instruction at school, students with learning disorders frequently benefit from individualized tutoring which focuses on their specific learning problem.


DSM Code

315.00 Reading Disorder

48.0 Reading Disorder

Disorder Sheets

The Dyslexua Action
Park House
Wick Road
TW20 0HH
Tel: 01784 222300
Fax: 01784 222333
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Recommended Book

How to Detect and Manage Dyslexia: A Reference and Resource Manual - Click Here to View


Reading Disorder - Dyslexia

Misc Information

Baby Crowd - Dyslexia Forum

Developmental Disorder's

Dyslexia Disorder

Educational Psychology