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What is Dyslexia

This hidden disability can be difficult to understand. Seemingly bright students struggle with the acquisition of literacy skills.  Very often they are blamed for “not trying hard enough”.

The truth is that their struggles are the result of a brain that is not well designed for learning to read, write and spell.  According to Dr. Harry Chasty,

"Dyslexia, or Specific Learning Difficulty, is a congenital organizing disability which impairs hand skills, short term memory and perception, so inhibiting the development of a child's literary skills - particularly reading, writing and spelling, and sometimes numeracy. In its effects, dyslexia can range from slight reading or spelling difficulties to complete illiteracy." 

- Dr. H. Chasty M.Sc. (Psychology) PhD., Director, Dyslexia Institute, U.K.

“A different Learning Ability.” 

- Barbara Foster, Director Teachers’ Training, Dyslexia Institute, U.K.

Basic Facts

  • Research has shown that the right side of the brain is engaged when dyslexics read. But the left side of the brain is engaged when the non-dyslexic reads.

  • There is a spectrum of difficulty with severely dyslexic students struggling to learn even single letter sounds and their associated shape, to less severely dyslexic students who begin to struggle as the words get longer and more difficult.

  • Figures are not available for Trinidad and Tobago, but extrapolating from internationally accepted figures of 10-20% the number of dyslexics in this country is likely to be over 120,000.

  • Dyslexia runs in families.

  • Dyslexics may have difficulty with, speaking, reading, spelling, writing, organizational skills and sometimes mathematics.

  • Our experience has shown that when dyslexics are taught using our specialist programmes they learn to read, write and spell with greater ease.

  • Many of our students go on to tertiary education and professional fields.

Recognizing Dyslexia


How can you tell if a child or adult may be dyslexic?

Here are some signs to look for in someone who you think may be dyslexic.


All ages

The person is

  • Bright but underachieving in a specific area, especially reading and spelling

  • A member of the family with similar difficulties

  • A creative thinker but has difficulty getting ideas down on paper


Ages 7 – Adult

The person

  • Has particular difficulty with reading and spelling

  • Reads a word then fail to recognize it further down the page

  • Spells a word several different ways without recognizing the correct version

  • Has poor concentration span for reading and writing

  • Answers questions orally but has difficulty writing the answer

  • Puts figures or letters the wrong way e.g.15 for 51, 6 for 9, b for d, was for saw


Ages 11 – Adult

The person

  • Has problems coping with print

  • Has difficulty with planning and writing stories or essays, letters or reports


If you can agree with most of these statements, then it is a good idea to get advice. 
The Dyslexia Association is here to help.  Contact us.

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