Dyslexia and Neuro-diversity

Dyslexia is the most common of a range of neurological conditions that have recently more frequently been referred to as neuro-diversity.  It helps to think of three terms as partially interchangeable: learning differences, neuro-diversity and dyslexia.

In reality dyslexia rarely occurs by itself.  Hence the concept that “dyslexia rarely visits alone”. Many people will experience dyslexia along with other related conditions.  Some authorities refer to a continuum of conditions.

Included in the suite of neuro-diverse conditions are: -

  • Dyslexia – the most common. Prime observable feature is difficulties with text – reading writing and spelling.  Internationally 10% of the population are dyslexic.
  • Dyscalculia. People with dyscalculia struggle with numbers, as opposed to text.  Best estimates indicate that 3 – 5% of the population have dyscalculia.
  • Irlen’s Syndrome. Sometimes called Visual Stress, or Scotopic Stress. Irlen’s is a visual perception condition in which the Visual Cortex struggles to process intense visual information from the eyes.  Some research indicates that up to 48% of people with Dyslexia also have Irlen’s syndrome.  Commonly people with Irlen’s report intense stress when having to read black text on white paper and find that the words often become extremely distorted on the page.  Tinted glasses or coloured filters often assist Irlen’s sufferers.
  • ADD/ADHD. Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    Both are characterised by excessive excitability, fidgeting, impulsiveness, lack of restraint, short attention span and forgetfulness.  Many people with ADD/ADHD also have dyslexia.
  • (Developmental Co-ordination Disorder)
    Shows up as a delay in the development of motor skills, or difficulty in co-ordinating movements, resulting in the subject being unable to perform common every day tasks, such as tying shoelaces, jumping or manipulating cutlery.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders, including Asperger’s Syndrome
    Common symptoms include difficulties with social interactions and social communications and repetitive behaviours. Approximately one percent of the population show the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders