What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that impacts on the brain’s neural processing of written and visual information.

The effect of dyslexia varies from person to person affecting up to 10% of school children (with boys being more predisposed to it than girls by a ratio of 3 to 1). Research also suggests that there can be a familial (runs in families) or hereditary (born with it) aspect to the condition.

It was previously suggested that dyslexia was associated with lower intelligence, but this has been proven to be totally incorrect. On the contrary, dyslexic people tend to be very bright and use their brains in a different way that often allows them to think in a more creatively or ‘outside the box’ giving them flashes of inspiration and brilliance.

Examples of (just a few) the many famous individuals who have been diagnosed with dyslexia or were dyslexic are:

  • Richard Branson
  • Henry Ford
  • Keira Knightly
  • Tom Cruise
  • Jay Leno
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • Cher
  • Mollie King
  • George Washington
  • Walt Disney
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Agatha Christie
  • Hans Christian Anderson
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Duncan Goodhew
  • Steve Redgrave
  • Jackie Stewart

Dyslexia can affect people from all over the world and every ethnicity; however our native language does also have an impact on the effect of dyslexia. Where grammar has consistent rules and there is a relationship between they way a word is written and how it is pronounced phonically, the easier a person’s dyslexic traits can be hidden.

English is a particularly tricky language due to inconstancies and exceptions in grammar and also in phonics such as in the words ‘cough’ and ‘dough’ or ‘where’ and ‘air’. These are examples why it can be particularly confusing and challenging for some dyslexics and why specialist one to one support essential.

With the correct diagnosis, patience and understanding, followed by a holistic visual and neuro-cognitive approach, individuals with dyslexia can go on to become exceptionally successful people in every field and in all walks of life – as the list above shows.