In 1925, Dr. Samuel Orton was the first to use the term dyslexia , which means “difficulty with words . ” Orton pointed out that it was a brain disorder with hereditary components. Numerous scientific studies have made it possible to identify genetic factors involved in the etiology of dyslexia. In general, it is considered as a neurological disorder related to the acquisition of language that affects reading, spelling and writing and is distinguished from a simple acquisition delay, a mental retardation or other auditory, visual or affective problems.


What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a durable and significant written language deficit that cannot be explained by an obvious cause. It is a reading learning disorder even when there is an appropriate sociocultural environment and schooling. The patient thus presents a difficulty in identifying letters, syllables or words.



It is important to note that the characteristics of dyslexia will vary from one individual to another, but in general terms, the following characteristics can be mentioned:

  • Mild delay in language acquisition.
  • Difficulty learning letters, numbers and colors.
  • Tendency to omit and add syllables.
  • Difficulty spelling words.
  • Difficulty in concentration and memorization.
  • Difficulty performing mathematical operations .

Types of dyslexia

  • Phonological dyslexia: This type of dyslexia makes it difficult for the person to properly process sequences of letters or syllables while respecting their phonetics. Thus, there is a difficulty regarding the correspondence between graphemes and phonemes , that is, between the written word and the word read or pronounced by the person.
  • Superficial dyslexia: This type affects visual recognition of words . Although each word has its shape, people with superficial dyslexia have a hard time recognizing it. Thus, they present a slow, laborious and syllabic reading.
  • Mixed dyslexia: It is the most severe variant of dyslexia that affects the procedures described in phonological and superficial dyslexia, that is, the grapheme and phoneme correspondence and the visual recognition of words.


The theories that try to explain the causes of dyslexia are numerous and they take into account psychological and affective disorders and above all, an attention problem that requires specific education from a qualitative rather than a quantitative point of view.

Other causes that have been discussed around problems in the acquisition of written language are:

  • A mild dysfunction that influences brain function,
  • An unfavorable socio-cultural and economic environment,
  • Reading teaching methods not adapted to learning needs,
  • Inappropriate rates of progression of acquisitions,
  • Classes overloaded.


  • Refusal to read and write in general .
  • Delay in learning to read and other learning.
  • School results that are not in correspondence with the efforts of the learner.
  • Disinterest in activities that require a reading effort.
  • Slowness in the execution of certain activities such as homework.
  • Difficulty for personal organization.
  • Severe psychological disturbances caused by prolonged failure in the school system.
  • Behavior problems

Symptoms of dyslexia

  • Delay in language acquisition.
  • Difficulty in acquiring balance in the body.
  • Difficulty identifying, understanding and reproducing written symbols of the language.
  • Errors (Word Substitution)
  • From the initial education, the difficulty to manipulate the syllables is observed.
  • Attention and behavior problems.
  • Difficulty memorizing texts.


Screening for dyslexia should be early but it is not possible to do it formally before 18 months of learning to read. Perhaps the teacher is the first to notice some signs of dyslexia in the child who suffers from it. They can be red flags the way you hold the pencil, illegible writing or clumsy class work can.

Thus, the teacher can advise a medical consultation and then a doctor could suggest a consultation with an orthophonist, an ortho-pedagogue and a psychologist. Generally speaking, it is a disorder that must be cared for by a multidisciplinary team.

It will be necessary to carry out vision and hearing exams as well as neurological exams and psychological tests . These allow you to eliminate other parameters that may influence reading difficulty. In addition, this comprehensive evaluation will help determine if it is really dyslexia.


The dyslexia patient can improve his condition with orthophonic re-education sessions . The Early detection is essential , to the extent that this disorder is related to the failure in the school system. It is convenient for dyslexic children to have specialized guidance and education . Reeducation is carried out with the intervention of an orthophonist, a pedagogue or a psychotherapist. These specialists are in charge of proposing exercises that will help those with this disorder. Likewise, it is important to note that emotional and psychological support from parents is essential .

Exercises for dyslexia

Exercise 1

Chained Words is a game in which words must be chained, taking as a starting point the last syllable of a word and the first syllable of the word that follows it.

Exercise 2

Reading stories aloud followed by several questions can be a helpful exercise for the dyslexic patient. Also, after reading the story, the child can summarize it as part of the exercise.

Exercise 3

The search for a particular letter in a written text in order to train and reinforce visual discrimination between the selected letter and the rest of the letters.

Exercise 4

Displaying syllables separated in order to form words with it is one way to stimulate both auditory and visual discrimination. In addition, this exercise also stimulates the creativity of the child.

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