In Ontario dyslexia often goes by other names
Psychologists usually use the terms “specific learning disorder” or “specific learning disorder with impairment in reading and/or writing” in psycho-educational assessments. However, the Diagnostic Standards Manual (DSM-V)* notes that
"Dyslexia is an alternative term used to refer to a pattern of learning difficulties characterized by problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor decoding, and poor spelling abilities.”
In 2018 the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) released a new document “OPA Guidelines for Diagnosis and Assessment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Learning Disabilities” (OPA, 2018). This document also uses the general term ‘learning disability’. In a revision in March 2018, the document clarified that
"When individuals meet the criteria for LD (learning disability) in the OPA Guidelines and have difficulties with word and pseudo-word reading and phonological or orthographic processing an additional diagnosis of dyslexia might be made."
The American Psychologists Association refers to ‘dyslexia’ on their website:
“Reading problems can include difficulties with reading accuracy, reading rate or fluency, and reading comprehension. Dyslexia refers to learning difficulties related to word recognition, decoding and spelling.”
*American Psychologists Association (APA), 2013
Canadian organizations use the term dyslexia
- The Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark 2012 ruling Moore v. British Columbia (Education)
- The Ontario Human Rights Commision, see the Policy on Accessible Education for Students with Disabilities 2018
- International Dyslexia Association Ontario Branch
- Decoding Dyslexia Ontario
- Dyslexia Canada
- Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
- Learning Disabilities Association of British Columbia
- Learning Disabilities Association of New Brunswick
- Learning Disabilities Association of Prince Edward Island
- New Brunswick Post-Secondary Institutions
The term dyslexia is used by other organizations around the world
- International Dyslexia Association
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO offers information about dyslexia and has designated the first Thursday in October World Dyslexia Awareness Day.
- Learning Disabilities Association of America
- U.S. National Center for Learning Disabilities
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support dyslexia research through grants to major research institutions across the United States.
- Mayo Clinic
- University of Michigan Dyslexia Help
- Yale University Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
- British Dyslexia Association
- The Australian Federation of Specific Learning Difficulties Associations
- New Zealand Council for Educational Research
The term dyslexia is used by scientists and researchers
Researchers have published thousands of papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including review articles and studies on risk factors, determinants, etiology, neurobiology, assessment, and intervention. Check them out by searching for ‘dyslexia’ in Google Scholar.
Governments around the world officially recognize the term dyslexia
While the government of Ontario removed the term 'dyslexia' from the official definition of learning disabilities in 2014 countries around the world are moving to officially recognize dyslexia. For example:
- In the United States, 47 states now have dyslexia specific legislation. See the IDA's Dyslexia Law Tracker for details. Additionally, a number of U.S. states have published Dyslexia Handbooks or Dyslexia Resource Guides. Check out our Dyslexia in Other Countries page for examples.
- In 2014 the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology hosted a hearing entitled "The Science of Dyslexia". In 2015 the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a guidance letter to states and schools encouraging the use of the terms dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
- In the United Kingdom, the term dyslexia is officially recognized by the U.K. National Health Service. The Department for Education funded the creation of the 'See Dyslexia Differently' national dyslexia awareness campaign for school children. And the U.K. Secretary of State commissioned Sir Jim Rose to create a national guide to Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties.
Individuals often prefer the term dyslexia
Many people feel that the term dyslexia is more reflective of the neurological diversity basis of this learning difference, rather than a 'disability' or 'disorder'. We know that dyslexia is not associated with intelligence and that people with dyslexia can learn to read well when provided with appropriate reading instruction.