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Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalulia (SpLDs)

Dyslexia refers to a combination of specific difficulties a person may have in connection with written language which affects aspects of reading, writing and/or spelling. People with Dyslexia may be poorly organised and sometimes have difficulties with spoken or heard language. Nearly six per cent of the student population at Reading has been found to have Dyslexia.

The problems underlying Dyslexia fall into five main categories:

  • Visual processing difficulties
  • Auditory processing difficulties
  • Poor short-term "working" memory
  • Difficulties to do with motor co-ordination
  • Difficulties with organising and sequencing

Individuals do not generally have all of these difficulties. It is often possible for Dyslexic adults to develop strategies for coping with the difficulties and to do well academically, but they are likely to have to work harder than others to achieve the same results.

Dyspraxia is a less common condition than Dyslexia but the two frequently occur together. Dyspraxia is an impairment in organising movement and may include difficulties with language, perception and organisation. For adults Dyspraxia may show itself in very poorly formed handwriting or in problems with time management, planning, organising and carrying out tasks. Individuals often have difficulty with word finding and oral or written expression and may have poor social skills.

Dyscalulia is a difficulty specifically with numbers and has minimal correlation with mathematical ability. It is often found in conjunction with Dyslexia.

CQSD provide regular staff training sessions on Specific Learning Difficulties.

Referring Students for assessment

Assessments and reassessments for specific learning difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia are carried out at the University as part of the Disability Advisory service. If a student would like to discuss in more detail whether they may be dyslexic or dyspraxic, they can intially book an appointment with a Study Adviser. To book an appointment with a Study Adviser telephone 0118 378 4242 or email

Assessments and reassessments can be arranged at the University. Assessments are free for students in receipt of the National Scholarship Programme/Reading Bursary. All other students will pay a charge for the assessment. For further information about booking an assessment and the current charges, please contact Suzanne James by email 

SpLD stickers

Students with a Specific Learning Difficulty are often eligible to have stickers for their written work and exams. These stickers tell the markers that they should mark only the content of the work, and the student should not be penalised for spelling or grammatical errors. This ensures that the student is neither at an advantage nor a disadvantage because of their SpLD. All Part One students with SpLDs are entitled to stickers and to extra time in class tests throughout the first year and up to, but not including, Part One exams. To receive extra time in Part One exams students are required to provide evidence of their Dyslexia for the Disability Advisers. Stickers are supplied to Schools by the Examinations Office, and provision to students is administered by the School Disability Representative. If you are unclear about the appropriate provisions for a particular student then the Study Advisers are happy to advise.

Things to do now

  • Have a look at the Study Advice information on SpLDs

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