Dyslexia Ottawa endeavours to provide information for persons with Dyslexia, their families, educators, and the professional community with information about Dyslexia at home, in school, and at work.


This information is for children, teens, and adults.

What is Dyslexia?

According to the International Dyslexia Association, “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.”

What does this definition mean?

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition. Dyslexia is primarily a problem reading accurately and fluently. Reading is a challenge because the Dyslexic has difficulty decoding the sounds in the word. When one is not able to decode words, their meaning can be lost.


This impacts *Reading comprehension, *Spelling, *Writing, *Math, and all areas involving reading and writing.


Dyslexia creates difficulties throughout one’s life. A Dyslexic is always working to improve their reading and writing skills using technology, voice to text, dictation, text to voice, and other technologies that are helpful for that individual.

Dyslexics can have a multitude of other learning difficulties. These include ADHD (attention deficit/distracted hyperactivity disorder). Executive Functioning which affects the persons’ ability to keep track of time, complete work on time, plan, multitask, and problem solve and ask for help. Dysgraphia is the difficulty spelling and forming letters and numbers. Dyscalculia is the difficulty reading and understanding math. Slow processing speed makes it difficult to understand what is being learned. Processing speed can affect visual and auditory processing. (I don’t understand what you are telling or showing me.)

What is Dyslexia?

Anxiety and Stress are common with Dyslexia.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or dread and can impact sleep, social behaviours, eating, and ability to live a normal life.

Stress is a feeling of being anxious or not in control. Stress can lead to thinking, emotional, physical, and behavioural changes.


Feeling overwhelmed with trying to learn, feeling loneliness and isolation, and not knowing what to do can be very frightening. Not being able to concentrate on learning, seeing only the bad side of things, sleeping too much or not enough can lead to a sense of helplessness.

Procrastinating or not doing things, using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax, withdrawing from friends increases the sense of helplessness.


Being able to get help from people who understand Dyslexia and the stress that can go with it is important. Don’t keep it inside you. Talk to people and ask for help.

Things to know.


Know that we are smart, very smart. Our difficulties are language based. We do not read or write very well.

We need more time to understand and learn.

We need more time to learn how to do our work and then do our work.

We need learning to be in chunks, small chunks of instruction and practice.

Please learn how to help us. Learn the Orton-Gillingham method. Learn how Phonemes will help us.

Let us use technology to read, write, remember, and take notes.


Please be patient. Its not easy being Dyslexic