Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia in the following way:
- “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity.
- “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental spelling disability.
The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia in the following way:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002).
The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:
- Difficulty reading real words in isolation
- Difficulty accurately decoding nonsense words
- Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored)
- Difficulty spelling
The reading/spelling characteristics are most often associated with the following:
- Segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness)
- Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds
- Holding information about sounds and words in memory (phonological memory)
- Rapidly recalling the names of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet (rapid naming)
Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include the following:
- Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension
- Variable difficulty with aspects of writing composition
- Limited vocabulary growth due to reduced reading experiences