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Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

Adopted by the IDA Board, November 2002 and has been used by the U.S. Federal Government’s Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD. For more information, see The International Dyslexia Association at

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) defines dyslexia as a learning disability in the area of reading.

For more information about specific learning disabilities, see LDonline at

In many states, Decoding Dyslexia provides parent support, information, and advocacy (including advocacy to support dyslexia legislation at the state and national level) for students and adults with dyslexia and their families. Information about Decoding Dyslexia in your state can be found on the internet.

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