Perhaps the most understood and researched learning challenge, dyslexia is defined by two organization.

According to the International Dyslexia Foundation, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fifth Edition (DSM-V) is the manual used by psychologists to determine diagnosis of a variety of mental health concerns. The DSM-V calls dyslexia a Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in reading. It’s defined as “a pattern of learning difficulties characterized by problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor decoding, and poor spelling abilities.”

Dyslexia is NOT a problem with vision, though vision issues can exacerbate dyslexia.

Dyslexia is an inheritable condition, therefore it often runs in families.

There are no pills to help a dyslexic person, however ADHD is a very common co-occurrence with dyslexia and there are medications for ADHD.

Dyslexia is a life-long condition but can be significantly improved with targeted remediation.


An educational or psycho-educational evaluation is needed to diagnose dyslexia. Ideally both the International Dyslexia Association definition and the DSM-V definitions of dyslexia are referenced when considering a diagnosis.


The greatest concern for a dyslexic child is learning how to read. Decades of research point to the Orton-Gillingham (OG) or Structured Literacy philosophies of instruction as the best choices for guiding reading, writing and spelling instruction for dyslexic students.

Extensive training is required to competently administer OG-based programs. Standard reading programs found in traditional publics schools are generally insufficient to address dyslexic students.


Thinking Cap’s psycho-educational assessments can include a diagnosis for dyslexia. We collaborate with psychologist Dr. John Platt when a diagnosis is involved in our assessments.

In addition, Thinking Cap learning specialists are all qualified to administer Orton Gillingham/Structured Literacy-based remediation for dyslexic students. We create customized programs under these philosophies that best fit your child’s needs. We draw from a wide selection of OG programs including: Lindamood Bell, Barton, and Recipe for REading. We also supplement with programs like Explode the Code, Reads Naturally, and Words Their Way, to name a few.


International Dyslexia Association: www.Interdys.org
Overcoming Dyslexia a book by Sally Shaywitz