Dyslexia is a common and specific learning difficulty. It primarily affects reading and writing skills, but does not only affect these skills. Dyslexia is actually about information processing.

Dyslexic people may have trouble processing and remembering information they see and hear. This can affect learning and the development of literacy skills. It can also impact on other areas such as organisational skills.

It is important to remember that there are positives to thinking differently. Many dyslexic people show strengths in areas such as reasoning and in visual and creative fields. Ten percent of the population are believed to be dyslexic.

Video about dyslexia from the British Dyslexia Association.

Signs of dyslexia

Each person with dyslexia will experience the condition in a unique way. And each will have their own set of abilities and difficulties. However, there are some common signs that may help you to identify signs of dyslexia. You can discuss these with a professional.

The Bristish Dyslexia Association (BDA) have useful information about the signs of dyslexia for different age groups.

What to do if you think your child may be dyslexic?

If you think your child may be dyslexic and would benefit from additional support in an educational setting (school, pre-school, nursery, college), speak to their teacher or special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) to discuss next steps.

This might include a screening test or assessment. Details of assessment tools can be found on page 14 of the Southend SEND: Early Identification and Support Toolkit.

Education settings are required to support children and young people through a graduated response. Your child's teacher or the SENCo will be able to talk to you about support available.

You can also speak to your GP or health visitor (for children aged 0 to 5).

How is dyslexia diagnosed?

Screening tests and checklists can be used to give an indication of the possibility of someone being dyslexic but they do not provide a diagnosis.

Dyslexia can only be formally identified and diagnosed through a Diagnostic Assessment for Dyslexia carried out by a certified assessor. Diagnostic assessments are only usually carried out from 7 years old. Because dyslexia is not a medical condition, a diagnostic assessment is not covered by the NHS.

A diagnostic assessment is not needed in order for SEN support to be provided at an educational setting.

Further information about dyslexia diagnosis and screening on the BDA website.

Further information about dyslexia

Two local neurodevelopmental guides have information about dyslexia.

Find book recommendations.

Note - some information on this page has been taken from the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) website.