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Possible characteristics


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As mentioned previously, people with dyslexia have difficulty with phonological processing. While adults with dyslexia can learn to read, they may continue to experience problems in this area. Adults with dyslexia have been found to perform lower than those without dyslexia on validated tests related to language processing such as spelling and non-word reading (Callens, Tops, & Brysbaert, 2012; Hatcher et al., 2002) and to take more time to perform tasks such as reading and writing than students without dyslexia (Hatcher et al., 2002; Hebert, Zhang, & Parrila, 2018). Dyslexia is also often associated with other difficulties with, for example, memory, organisation and numeracy (McLoughlin & Leather, 2013).

In a survey of university students in Great Britain, 136 students with and without dyslexia were asked to indicate which skills they felt they had difficulty with (Mortimore & Crozier, 2006). Results of this survey are shown in the table below.

Percentages of students with and without dyslexia that reported difficulties with skills related to learning (Mortimore & Crozier, 2006, p. 240)

Activity % Dyslexia (Out of 62 Students) % Comparison (Out of 74 Students
Reading 47 6
Reading speed 64 7
Spelling 62 7
Note taking 78 18
Organizing essays 76 8
General organization 67 36
Time keeping 55 31
Expressing ideas orally 24 10
Expressing ideas in writing 72 11
Handwriting 64 18
Concentration 52 25
Remembering facts 57 14
Listening 40 12

From this table, it can be seen that, for every skill, a significantly greater number of students with dyslexia reported having difficulty than those without; this was especially true of skills associated with reading, writing and note-taking but also in skills such as remembering facts and listening (Mortimore & Crozier, 2006).

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Supporting Adult and Adolescent Students with Dyslexia

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