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Introduction

The British Dyslexia Association maintains the definitive UK website for information about dyslexia and the related legislation and educational codes of practice that are applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and recently Dyslexia Scotland launched their new website which provides Scotland-specific information.

We make no attempt to duplicate these established and comprehensive resources here.

However, in the course of our business, we occasionally find (or write) articles, which, we believe, complement the information available from the BDA and Dyslexia Scotland, and may be of interest to our visitors.

So, there's a Dyslexic in the House.

If you are the parent or teacher of a child with dyslexia, or are dyslexic yourself, you are probably already aware that there is no shortage of information, advice and products claiming to be useful to people with dyslexia. In fact, if you or your child has recently been diagnosed as having dyslexia, or "dyslexic tendencies", you may be rather overwhelmed by it all. 

If you are a parent, it is very important that you find out about dyslexia before discussing it with your child because they will need your informed support to help them realise that the problems they are experiencing are well understood and common to lots of people, that there is nothing wrong with them and that with appropriate help they can be successful.

You will also want to tell them that many famous people are, or were dyslexic and that being dyslexic is not all bad. People with dyslexia are often more artistic, more inventive or more perceptive than non-dyslexics.

Rather than say more here, we now defer to the experts; Dr Gavin Reid (Senior Lecturer, Educational Studies, Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University) is a well known authority on dyslexia who has written several books on the subject.  He presented, at Dyslexia Scotland's 2004 Annual Conference, an encyclopaedic, yet accessible and informative paper on dyslexia, which he has very kindly allowed us to reproduce here. Further papers written by Dr Reid are available at www.gavinreid.co.uk.

We have put together this description of the typical behaviours of a dyslexic child at various ages.  It may make for depressingly familiar reading, but we have annotated it with various suggestions that we hope will help you to help your child.

If you would like to make a very basic check for dyslexic tendencies in your child, try the The Ann Arbor Dyslexia Checklist.  A similar Adult Dyslexia Checklist can be found on the Adult Dyslexia Organization website.

These more general reading and spelling tests are not specifically for identifying dyslexic tendencies, but you may find them useful,