Dyslexia and language / phonology

Based on more recent research and experience, there is now focus on dyslexia being associated with a form of specific language difficulty, and that the Reading and writing problems primarily occur at word level. Such definitions also disregard intelligence.

Here are some examples:

  • Dyslexia is one of several distinct learning disabilities. It is a specific language-based disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities.(International Dyslexia Association, 1994)
  • Dyslexia is a lasting disorder in the coding of written language, caused by a failure in the phonological system (Høien and Lundberg, 1997)

A lot of research supports the theory that phonological difficulties are correlated with dyslexia. It is also being maintained that there is a hereditary disposition, and that dyslexia often runs in families.

Reading and writing are language skills. The written language is a constructed symbol language based on the spoken language. Written words represent spoken words, and letters represent language sounds. Mastering connected to spoken words involves forms of phonological mastering, which is assumed to be important to mastering associated with the written word (meaning to read and write words). It is therefore understandable that phonological difficulties can influence learning and development of the written language.