Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

Dyslexia is the most common type of specific learning difficulty that children and young people are likely to experience with approximately 4-10% of the population having some degree of specific learning difficulty with literacy, including dyslexia.

"Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling."

Sir Jim Rose, 2009

In addition, short-term memory, numeracy, concentration and personal organisation may be affected. Speech, language and communication difficulties may also coexist. Dyslexia occurs across a range of intellectual abilities. It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points. There is a growing body of research relating to the factors which may contribute to literacy difficulties. A summary of these factors is given in the ‘factors affecting literacy development’ page.

What do you notice about the child or young person?

You observe the child / young person may have difficulty with: skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling; difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

What can help?

The provision for literacy difficulties and dyslexia is similar.

The following resources and materials maybe of help.

  • The Education Endowment Foundation contains guidance reports with clear and actionable recommendations for teachers to support literacy. Kelly, K and Phillips S. (2018) “Teaching Literacy to Learners with Dyslexia,” London: Sage
  • Made By Dyslexia a global charity run by adults with dyslexia which addresses perceptions of dyslexia and explores the ‘differences in dyslexic thinking’.
  • See Dyslexia Differently: an animation developed by the British Dyslexia Association.
  • Dyslexia Scotland: various resources can be found here including the Dyslexia Toolkit for teachers.
  • Daily use of well researched, evidence based programmes for reading or spelling, such as Letters and SoundsRead Write Inc.
  • This collection of BBC resources can be used to support teaching around Dyslexia Awareness Week.


  • Information on paired reading by the National Literacy Trust.
  • Cambugs app. A phonics application that teaches children the initial phonemes (letter sounds) which are the first step on their journey to become fluent, confident readers.

Other evidence-based intervention include:

  • For reading: Toe-By-Toe, Paired Reading, Read-Write-Inc, and Reading Recovery.
  • For reading comprehension: Inference Training.
  • For writing: AcceleWrite, Read Write Inc, Paired Writing.
  • For spelling: Cued Spelling and Read Write Inc. 

Speech and language checklists

  • Universally Speaking: A summary of the ages and stages of young people’s communication development from 11 to 18

Resources from Bradford Schools Online

Screening tools