Advice Column, Education, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting

So what does dyslexia really mean?

  • Carla Grobler
  • Category Advice Column, Education, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting

(All information was obtained from Stark – Griffin’s book Dyslexia)

Definition of dyslexia – A neurological-functional problem manifesting as a deficit in word decoding (reading), encoding (spelling) and nemkinesia (writing) due to a minimal brain dysfunction and/or differential brain function.

More use full information regrading dyslexia

  • Eidetic: give meaning to text in general and recognising words from previous experience.
  • Phonetic: allocating a sound to each letter and using these sounds in groups to produce words.
  • People suffering from dyslexia usually have an average to above average intelligence.
  • 10% – 20% of all children suffer from dyslexia.
  • Children suffering from dyslexia feel confusion, frustration, anxiety, withdrawl and compensating behavioural patterns. These children are often teased and humiliated by their classmates.Dyslexia may lead to poor self image and even depression. These feelings may manifest in behavioural problems which inlcude aggression, vandalism, disruption of class and a hostile attitude.

Types of dyslexia


Deficit in the ability to develop motor engrams (memory trace) for written symbols

Child wil revers letters

  • A child should have no letter reversals by Gr. 4
  • When writing the alphabet 1 reversal is acceptable in Gr. 3
  • When writing the alphabet 3 reversals are acceptable in Gr. 2
  • When writing the alphabet 5 reversals are acceptable in Gr. 1


  • Deficit in visual-symbol and sound integrations
  • Child will struggle to read unknows words as he cannot decode them / will have difficulty spelling e.g. slow/solw, does/dose


  • This type of dyslexia is genetic
  • Deficit in the ability to perceive whole words and to recognise words from previous experience.
  • Child will struggle to read words that he cannot relate to a picture e.g. did / will struggle to read sight words / will struggle to read word that cannot be divided /will spell word the way they sound e.g. does/duz


Mix between dysphonesia and dyseidesia

  • Dysnemkinphonesia

Mix between dynemkinesia and dysphonesia

  • Dysnemkineidesia

Mix between dysnemkinesia and dyseidesia

  • Dynmemkinphoneidesia

Mix between dysnemkinesia, dysphonesia an dyseidetia

One has to rule out the following deficits before a diagnosis of dyslexia can be made:

  • Problematic vision and/or eye muscle functioning
  • Impaired visual perceptual skills
  • Impaired auditive perceptual skills
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Emotional problems/psychological factors
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Health factors: e.g. nutrition, infections, allergies, trauma
  • Environmental factors


The child needs to be evaluated by a professional (usually an occupational therapist/speech therapist/educational psychologist/optometrist) that is registered with RADA (Red Apple Dyslexia Association).

The test used is called the Dyslexia Test developed by Stark-Griffin. If dyslexia is identified it needs to be specified which type of dyslexia as each one has a different treatment approach. All types of dyslexia can be improved although the percentage differs from person to person.

  • Dyseidesia cannot be 100% cured as it is genetic.
  • Dysphoneidesia is the most difficult type of dyslexia to treat.
  • Dysnemkinesia is easily treated.
  • Build on the child’s strengths and later give attention to the weaknesses.
  • Work around the problem to improve reading/writing and spelling.

Famous dyslexics

No matter what your dissability – you can still be successful !!!

Just look at these famous dyslexic people:

  • Pable picasso
  • Tom cruise
  • Richard Branson
  • Leonard daVinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • Whoopi Goldberg

Development of the child checklist

The Developmental checklist will assist you in determining whether you child is functioning according to his/her age level.

Download your order form Here

It is divided into 29 categories namely:

  • Movement (Activities of daily living)
  • Communication skills (Cognitive skills)
  • Personality traits / temperament (Playing)
  • Ball skills  (Coordination)
  • Perception (Grasps & hand function)
  • Basic concepts (Body concept)
  • Number concept (Form concept)
  • Colour concept (Size concept)
  • Building with blocks (Working with beads)
  • Cutting with scissors (Drawing / painting)
  • Drawing a person (Picture-reading)
  • Story-time (Writing)
  • Eating / feeding (Sleeping)
  • Prepositions  (Senses)
  • Teeth

When determining if your child is developing according to his/her age level it is important to remember that each child is unique. Each child develops at his/her own pace; therefore no 2 children’s milestones will be achieved at exactly the same time.

Please give a 2 – 3 month leeway to either side of the time frame given (e.g. if it says that a child has to walk when he is 1 year old it can mean that the child may start walking when he is 9 months old or 15 months old).

When you see that your child has a delay in more than 2 important areas, please consult your developmental paediatrician and take him/her for an occupational therapy assessment.

A child that has a developmental delay usually reaches a plato when 12 years old. Thus it is so important that a child receives therapy from as early an age as possible.

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