What is Dyslexia?
According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a neurologically-based, often familial, disorder which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. Varying in degrees of severity, it is manifested by difficulties in receptive and expressive language, including phonological processing in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and sometimes in arithmetic.
Dyslexia is not the result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inadequate instructional or environmental opportunities, or other limiting conditions, but it may occur together with these conditions.
Although dyslexia is life-long, individuals with dyslexia frequently respond successfully to timely and appropriate intervention.
Persons with dyslexia are those who, despite traditional classroom teaching, have failed to master the basic elements of the language system of their culture. Since language is the necessary tool upon which subsequent academic learning is based, such persons often encounter difficulty in all educational endeavors.
What are Learning Differences?
“Learning differences” is not a specific term; it is a category containing many specific disabilities, all of which cause learning to be difficult. The term “learning disability/differences” means a disorder in one or more of the basic processes involved in understanding spoken or written language. It may show up as a problem in listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, or spelling, or in a person’s ability to do math, despite at least average intelligence.
The term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or physical handicaps, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.