What Is Dyslexia: Causes and Types

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty associated with reading skills. Due to problems with certain mental functions that should be involved in the formation of such skills, a child can experience a variety of difficulties when working with a text. More often, it is difficult to recognize individual symbols, signs; and as a result, the meaning of words, phrases, or sentences is not captured or is distorted.

If it gets noticed during early childhood, it can be brought to a point that allows you to live comfortably and learn effectively. But if you do not pay attention to the problem since an early age, the problem remains even in adulthood. Later in life, it causes a lot of inconveniences. At the same time, it is important to understand that dyslexia, itself, does not determine the development of a child, or an adult. A person can effectively perceive information through other channels, for example, by listening. So how can you recognize these problems and help people that struggle with them? These are some common ways you can tell that someone might be experiencing dyslexia issues.

What causes dyslexia?

Most of the causes of dyslexia are neurobiological in their nature. This is something that is very important to understand. Some parents and teachers write off difficulties with reading as “laziness” or “inattention” of the child, which can make the situation even worse. But with such deviation, certain areas of the brain are less active, and also have a reduced density. Additional causes of dyslexia (provoking factors) may be as strong as the original and affect the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain. Sometimes, severe infections affecting the brain, with the most common example being meningitis, can also have a lot to do with the emergence of this disorder. It has been noted that complications during childbirth and pregnancy might also have an effect on the appearance of dyslexia. 

Social factors

Social factors can also have a serious influence on this deviation. Moreover, they can be completely opposite in their direction meaning that the symptoms of dyslexia can appear both from too much studying and from neglect. Complete ignorance of the child’s development makes the situation even worse. With isolation, lack of communication, not a very good environment, the situation will surely change into a bad one. 

However, remember that dyslexia is not necessarily a disease of disadvantaged children. For purely biological reasons, it can show itself in children who live in excellent conditions and receive enough attention from adults.

Types of dyslexia

Currently, there are six types of dyslexia:

Phonemic or acoustic – with this type, people rearrange the syllables; distort the structure of the word. For example, instead of the word “care” they read “erac”.

Agrammatic – assumes mistakes in the composition of constructions. For example, a person may incorrectly use endings, cases, tenses.

Semantic – each word that a person reads, he understands; but separately from the rest of the text, and cannot assemble words into sentences or into other, even more, complex constructions. Therefore, it is impossible to grasp the meaning of what has been read. For this reason, dyslexia in adults and children does not allow getting enough information from books.

Mnestic – this problem emerges on the level of individual letters and sounds, which do not allow you to assimilate or understand the word as a whole. 

Optical – here deviations occur at a visual level. For example, a dyslexic sees the word backwards (mirrored) or cannot keep his gaze on the line he is reading. His eyes constantly slide over the page, not allowing him to adhere to the desired reading sequence. 

Tactile – specific dyslexia type characteristic to people who cannot see and use Braille to read. With this deviation, the letters, determined by touch, are either perceived incorrectly (they are confused with similar ones), or “slip away”. The person cannot stay on the desired line.

Since there are six different types of dyslexia it means that the symptoms of this learning difficulty are extremely varied and ambiguous. Also, dyslexia isn’t related to a person’s general IQ and both children and grownups of all intellectual capabilities can be affected by it.

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