The following is the definition of dyslexia adopted by the Research Committee of the International Dyslexia Association in August 2002:

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterised 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 problems may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

Dyslexia Australia's Definition:

Dyslexia is the capacity to process information differently, enabling innovative thought and perception. It is characterised by a visual and experiential learning style. Methods using this learning style allow dyslexic people to realise their capabilities and minimise the negative impact commonly developed by conventional methods. (concept by C. Fraser. Wording by B. Baird and C. Fraser)

People with dyslexia display some of the following signs:

Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.

Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.

Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.

Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don't reveal a problem.

Trouble learning Sight Words (WHY? Click Here)

Reads and rereads with little comprehension.

Spells phonetically and inconsistently.

With the exception of New South Wales, Dyslexia is not recognised within the Australian School System.

This is not in line with other countries like the United Kingdom, or United States of America. Australia is behind and our children are suffering.

Dyslexia is a learning difference not a learning disability. It is only a disability because the current education system only recognises one way of learning. If you don't fit the "norm" then you have to adapt or get left behind.

It should not be a fight between parents and the school system. Teachers and specialists should have the knowledge and tools to be able to assist all children with their learning, whatever their style.

We, the undersigned, call on the Australian Government to:

1. Recognise and support Dyslexia, and all associated differences, within the education system;

2. Provide the resources, support and training necessary to all children, schools, teachers, support staff, families, care givers and adults;

3. At the very least, equal the standard support and recognition of other countries, with a preference to excelling these standards.

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The Australia - Support students with Dyslexia petition to Peter.Garrett.MP@aph.gov.au was written by Joanne Holloway and is in the category Education at GoPetition.