Dys – What?


Dyslexia is a fairly well-known term in today’s society and people understand it to mean difficulty with reading. This simple statement captures the essence of this learning issue, yet if you or a loved one has dyslexia, you will want a more detailed explanation.

Dyslexia is a language-based processing disorder that impacts both reading fluency and comprehension. People with dyslexia may have trouble coding and decoding words, i.e.; reading, however, more specifically, they have trouble with phonemic awareness, phonics, rapid word recognition, vocabulary, and spelling. Due to the issues with reading and coding fluency, reading comprehension and written expression may be impacted as well.

When researching dyslexia, one runs into many other ‘dys’ conditions, namely: dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dysphasia, and dyspraxia.

Dyscalculia is a learning issue involving numeric and mathematical calculations. People with dyscalculia have trouble recognizing numbers, learning math facts – including time, measurement, counting, and monetary values. In addition, these people may have trouble using math calculations, doing mental math, and problem-solving skills. Dyscalculia differs from dyslexia as it involves visual-spatial as well as language processing difficulties.

Dysgraphia is a language processing, attention, working memory, and motor skill, specifically graphomotor, development issue relating to writing skills. A person with dysgraphia has trouble with the actual handwriting as well as utilizing writing skills such as; grammar, punctuation, spelling, and organizing thoughts on paper.

Dysphasia is a language disorder involving speech, writing, and oral & written comprehension. A person with dysphasia may have trouble with talking, writing, listening, and understanding.

Dyspraxia involves motor skill development and correlates with language in the area of speech. Speech control is an issue as well as fine motor skills, coordination, and sensory processing.

Quick Stats:

  • 15% of the population has dyslexia
  • 5 – 7% of students have dyscalculia
  • Unknown % have dysgraphia due to overlapping diagnoses with other language based learning issues
  • 1M of Americans suffer from dysphasia
  • 6% of children have dyspraxia

Solutions and strategies are available for all these learning issues. The key is early diagnosis, intervention and support.