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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Dyslexia (dis-LEKS-ee-uh) is a learning disability, not a disease, that's characterized by problems in expressing or receiving spoken or written language. It's caused by differences in the structure and function of the brain, which has problems translating language to thought--as in listening or reading--or thought to language--as in writing or speaking. Dyslexia affects more than the ability to read, write, and spell, and no two people have the same symptoms. Some of the common signs of the disorder include: lack of awareness of sounds in words, sound order, or sequence of syllables, and difficulty identifying single words or spelling. There also may be problems with reading comprehension, problems expressing thoughts in writing; delayed spoken language and difficulty in expressing thoughts orally; and difficulties with handwriting and math. People with dyslexia often have strengths in areas controlled by the right brain, such as ones that require strong creativity or athletic ability. Children with dyslexia can be taught how to read, write, and spell fluently, but they usually have to be taught differently, either through special education or other classroom modification methods. There are many professional and advocacy groups dedicated to research and referrals about dyslexia.

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