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There is no consensus regarding subtypes of dyslexia but there are a few different categorizations in the literature.  The three most commonly defined subtypes of dyslexia are Auditory Dyslexia, Visual Dyslexia or Mixed Dyslexia.

1) Auditory Dyslexia or Dysphonetic Dyslexia: is when a learner struggles with the decoding and or spelling of words because he or she has great difficulty associating sounds with symbols (also known as phonemic awareness).  These learners tend to have good visual processing skills, but they have deficits in auditory processing as well as linking a sound to a visual cue.

2) Visual Dyslexia also referred to as Dyseidetic Dyslexia or Surface Dyslexia: is when a learner struggles with the decoding and or spelling of words because he or she has great difficulty remembering or visualizing the word, particularly irregular sight words (also known as eidetic words).  These learners tend to have good auditory processing skills as well as an understanding of phonics, but they struggle with visual processing, memory synthesis and sequencing of words.  Word or letter reversals when reading, as well as writing and spelling difficulties are also common.

3) Mixed Dyslexia or Dysphoneidetic Dyslexia: is when a learner struggles with both visual and auditory processing deficits.  This subcategory is known as Mixed Dyslexia or Dysphoneidetic Dyslexia.  

Dyslexia Terms You Might Come Across:

Deep Dyslexia:  Deep dyslexia is a form of dislexia that disrupts reading processes. Deep dyslexia may occur as a result of a head injury, stroke, disease, or operation. This injury results in the occurrence of semantic errors during reading and the impairment of non-word reading.

Direct Dyslexia:  Direct dyslexia is the ability to read words aloud without comprehension.

Directional Dyslexia:  Directional dyslexia is trouble telling left from right.

Developmental Dyslexia:  Developmental dyslexia is difficulty with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and spelling despite adequate instruction and intelligence as well as intact sensory abilities.

Geographic Dyslexia:  Geographic dyslexia is left-right confusion and a tendency to become disoriented or lost.

Literal Dyslexia:  Literal dyslexia is difficulty in recognizing letters.

Math Dyslexia:  Math dyslexia involves problems learning math. These individuals often have a dual diagnosis of dyslexia and dyscalculia.

Phonological Dyslexia:  Phonological dyslexia is a difficulty sounding out words and commonly results from brain injury, stroke or illness.  These individuals often learn to read using a whole word method.  

Primary Dyslexia:  There are two definitions: 1) Primary dyslexia refers to those that acquired dyslexia genetically from their parents.  2) Primary dyslexia is a dysfunction with the left side of the brain. Individuals often can’t read above fourth grade level.

Spatial Dyslexia:  Spatial dyslexia involves left-right confusion and a tendency to become physically disoriented or lost.

Stealth Dyslexia:  Stealth dyslexia describes gifted dyslexics who learned to compensate for reading difficulties with great analytical and problem-solving strengths. However, these learners often experience significant difficulties with writing and spelling.  Because they are so intelligent, the challenges these individuals experience are often characterized with inappropriate labels such as careless or lazy.  As a result, many with stealth dyslexia can feel a sense of learned helplessness.

Surface Dyslexia:  Surface dyslexia is the ability to read words phonetically but difficulties with reading sight words.

Semantic Dyslexia:  Semantic dyslexia involves distortions of word meanings.

Trauma Dyslexia:  Trauma dyslexia is caused from brain damage or a head injury.



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