Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Dyslexia derives from a Greek word meaning “difficulty with words”

Dyslexia is a specific learning difference which is often associated by having normal or above average intelligence, but with difficulty reading, processing information, and understanding what is written or said.

Also there may be bizarre spelling, and problems writing thoughts down on paper.

Other associated problems are poor memory, concentration, sequencing days, numbers, and visual or auditory perception.
Problems with balance, co-ordination and hand writing can be observed.

Dyslexia affects 10% of the population in the UK and occurs in all cultures and backgrounds, despite adequate educational and family support.

Dyslexia can be associated with dyspraxia – difficulty with balance and co-ordination, or clumsiness, Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder.
Dyslexia is often genetically inherited and is more common in boys than girls by a ratio of 4:1.
There is a lot of controversy about dyslexia, and some people do not believe that it exists!
Dyslexia is a hidden disability and needs to be recognised.
If you want to find out more, please get in touch with Dyslexia North East.

Dyspraxia is a term used to describe an individual with balance or co-ordination difficulties. In other words, it affects someone in their ability to write, kick a football, or catch a ball, or sense their awareness in space. It is sometimes referred to as DCD or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder. Referral to an Occupational Therapist would be very helpful, so assessment and appropriate exercises can be given.

Talk to your SENCO, or Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at the School where your child is. If you need more advice, you can speak to the Parent Partnership advisor for the area where you live, and where the School is situated. Contact details are available from Dyslexia North East.

Changes have been made in Parliament about the extra help and support for children with special educational needs. Every Local Authority now has to produce a Local Offer for parents to access help needed for their child with special educational needs. This includes children with dyslexia.

Useful Resources:

1. Guide to help parents and carers navigate the changes in SENCO provision.

2. NSSN Summary of Children and Families Act (July 2014)

3. Newcastle Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service

( Also known as Meares-Irlen Syndrome or Visual Stress)

This condition can affect up to 50% of individuals with dyslexia, so it is important to be aware of the effects of this syndrome.

It manifests itself by distortions of visual perception, so a child or adult may see letters “shimmering” , “swirling” or moving about on the page. They do not realise that this should not happen, and often they believe that everyone has this particular problem when trying to read!

If this affects you, referral to a qualified Optometrist is advisable, so that the appropriate assessments can be performed.

People’s lives have been transformed by having the right help !

A child or pupil who is under-achieving at School needs to be assessed by a qualified teacher or psychologist to establish what the causes of their learning problems are. Sometimes, it needs the services of a multidisciplinary team of professionals to ascertain the full picture, and can take time to implement.

Children grow and develop at different rates, but ideally need to grasp the skills of reading and writing in Primary School. If a child is struggling to read, write or do maths and are under-achieving, then it is reasonable to ask why? There will be an explanation.

Some of these difficulties persist into adulthood, and cause problems at University, at College or at Work.

There could be medical or social factors involved, but all children and adults need to be given the opportunity to excel as best they can to achieve their potential.
Discovering the cause needs to be found, if difficulties persist.

1. Is there a difference between the ability to talk about things, and writing things down ?

2. Is there a difference between reading ability and how topics and ideas are spoken about to others ?

3. Is there a problem remembering the alphabet or the days of the week ?

4. Are there problems with spelling ?

5. Are there any difficulties with multiplication tables?

6. Are there problems with losing your place, or missing out words when reading ?

7. Is there any confusion between right and left ?

8. Is there a problem with having a short attention span, and finding it difficult to concentrate?

9. Is there difficulty with multi-syllable words, such as the word arch/i/tect/ure ?

10. Is there difficulty with words that sound similar – for example their and there ?

11. Is there a problem with mixing up letters or reversing them, such as b for d or p for q ? was for saw ?

12. Is poor memory a problem ? For example, your teacher or family member has asked you to collect some books or items from another place, and immediately the instruction has been forgotten. Likewise learning times tables and spellings at School.

13. Is there difficulty telling the time ?

14. Does it take a long time to do homework or complete a piece of written work ?

If the answer is YES to most of these questions, then it would be helpful to speak to the child’s teacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at the School, (SENCO) to discuss your concerns.


To find out more, please contact Dyslexia North East.

As an Adult you may find similar problems to the questions above.
In addition, you may notice the following:

You may have difficulty writing things down, completing tasks and recording information accurately on the computer or on paper.

You may make mistakes when taking down phone messages, reversing numbers or missing out words.

You may find that you are slow reading documents and need someone else to check your work.

You may forget what you are doing, and lose track of what you were writing or talking about.

If you need to talk to someone about your concerns,
please get in touch with Dyslexia North East using our Contact page.

There IS help out there!

As an adult, it may help to talk to a family member or friend.
Perhaps you are unemployed, so the Job Centre Plus Disability Officer can help.

At College or University there are Disability Support Officers on hand.

At work you can approach your employer, so that they can find help for you through Access to Work. This is a government scheme to help people with disabilities to have an assessment and reasonable adjustments put in place to support you in the workplace.