If you think you have dyslexia or are concerned about your child, one of the first places people look these days for signs of dyslexia is the Internet. Of course the Internet is a great reference for information on this type of reading disorder, but if you look around, you will find evidence of many different signs, so why should this be so?
It is only in recent years that dyslexia has been accepted in many schools, but even with the great advances made in schools, there are quite enough available resources to cope adequately with this issue. One of the biggest problems with children and adult dyslexics is that the disorder is often treated as a single entity with only one type of remediation. It is likely this is the primary reason for some of the inconsistencies in the reporting of symptoms of dyslexia and, in how well the remediation programs work.
There are a great deal of possible symptoms that are associated with dyslexia. However, consider now that everyone is an individual and when we do something, we all tend to do it in a different way. It therefore stands to reason that there will be individual differences in how dyslexia will manifest itself. There has been substantial evidence produced to underpin the idea of different sub-types of dyslexia, both developmental (from childhood) and acquired (ie as a result of brain trauma or disease). Although there are quite a few reasons for dyslexia, the primary sub-types are known as phonological or surface dyslexia. Both of these exhibit different symptoms of dyslexia that directly contrast each other.
The main problem for phonological dyslexics is the inability to segment individual sounds. In pure cases, they can be distinguished by their difficulty, or complete inability to read novel or made up words. In contrast, surface dyslexics have no problem with reading novel or made up words. However, there will be a difficulty in storing whole word representations that will lead to the decoding of a lot of words by their individual sounds. Given the nature of the English language, there are many words that do not follow spelling-to-sound rules. For example, the word 'yacht' could produce 'yacht' for a surface dyslexic. You will find that spelling is usually poor for all dyslexics and spelling errors tend to show similar types of errors as with reading aloud. All types of dyslexics will be slow readers and although adults may have learned to compensate for their problems, their slow reading speed will end into adulthood.
In summary, a basic distinction between these two pure types of dyslexia are that one will have problems reading novel words, while the other will have difficulty in reading aloud words that do not follow the spelling-to-sound rules. Additionally, many people would have of a mixed sub-type of dyslexia. All this means is that they would exhibit difficulties with both processes. Therefore, it is suggested that the reason websites differ in what defines dyslexia is because of the different types.