What is dyslexia

The word “dyslexia” comes from the Greek dys-, broadly denoting difficultly or inadequacy, and lexis, meaning word.

A number of terms have been used to describe dyslexia. In the psychiatric classifications ICD–10 (World Health Organization 1992) and DSM–IV (American Psychiatric Association 1994) it is called ‘reading disorder’.

In ICD–10, this is classified under ‘Specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills’; in DSM–IV, it comes under ‘Learning disorders’.

In the UK, the word dyslexia has not been popular in educational services (where it is most commonly encountered), and the term ‘specific learning difficulties’ is used in preference.

Psychologists, who have carried out most research in this area, also tend to use the latter term. Other descriptions include ‘specific reading disability’, ‘reading disability’ and ‘reading retardation’.