The overwhelming majority of children who have difficulties with reading and spelling have a condition called dyslexia.
Perhaps the simplest description of a child with dyslexia is one who is bright and talented, but unexpectedly struggles with learning to read, spell, and/or write.
Parents and teachers are often dismayed about why this intelligent child has so many difficulties with written language.
The current International Dyslexia Association (IDA) definition for dyslexia is as follows:
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 and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
-Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Many dyslexic people are gifted in areas that are controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain, such as art, music, and athletics.