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This page lists words that you may read or hear when learning about dyslexia, that are not used every day.

Access to Work 

Access to Work is a free specialist disability service that gives practical employment-related advice and support to disabled people, whether they are working, self-employed or looking for employment.       

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) 

People with ADD do not display excessive hyperactive behaviour like those with ADHD but display all other symptoms: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsiveness.       

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

People with ADHD have excessive hyperactive behaviour making it difficult for them to inhibit spontaneous responses - from movement to speech to attentiveness.       

Additional Needs    

The main term used by a school when a students’ needs cannot be met by Universal teaching.       

APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group)

APPGs are informal cross-party groups that are run by and for Members of the Commons and Peers, though many involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.    


Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour. It includes asperger syndrome and autism.        

Asperger Syndrome    

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people.       

Assistive Technology    

Assistive technology refers to an item, piece of equipment, or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities.       


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.

BESD (Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties)

A condition which behaviour or emotional responses of an individual are so different from generally accepted norms, that they adversely affect a person’s performance.       


Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a process for gathering and recording information about a child for whom a practitioner has concerns in a standard format, identifying the needs of the child and how the needs can be met.  It is a shared assessment and planning framework for use across all children’s services and all local areas in the UK.        

Code of Practice    

A code of practice is a set of written rules which explain how people working in a particular profession should behave or how rules must or should be interpreted.       

​DDA (Disability Discrimination Act)

This has now been replaced by the Equality Act (2010).       

Diagnostic Assessment    

Diagnostic assessment involves the evaluation of a persons' knowledge and skills in a given learning area to diagnose strengths and areas of need to aid decisions on the most appropriate course and type of intervention.        

Disability    ​

The Equality Act 2010  (section 6) states a person has a disability if they have a 'substantial' physical or mental impairment which has a ‘long-term’ negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.       


Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is available to higher education students who have a disability under the Equality Act 2010. The support you get depends on your individual needs.       

Dyscalculia    ​

A specific learning difficulty affecting mainly the acquisition of maths skills.       


A specific learning difficulty stemming from a neurological difficulty in processing the sounds of words affecting the ability in learning to read and spell.        

Dyslexia SpLD Trust    

The Dyslexia Specific Learning Difficulties Trust promotes improved practice and outcomes for individuals with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.       


​A disability where motor skills are difficult to learn and retain.  Coordination and balance could be affected, amongst other areas.       


Local Authority - an organisation officially responsible for all the public services and facilities in an area.   


​Learning Mentors work in schools or colleges with pupils and students who need help to overcome difficulties that are getting in the way of their learning such as lack of self-confidence, self-esteem or motivation.        

Local Offer    

A Local Offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support services the local authority think will be available in their local area. Every local authority is responsible for writing a Local Offer and making sure it is available for everyone to see.      ​


​Learning Support Assistant (LSA) (often referred to as a Teaching Assistant/TA), is provided to support teachers and pupils in the classroom in primary and secondary schools.       


Moderate Learning Difficulty is when students have much greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills and in understanding concepts. They may also have associated speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentration and under-developed social skills.       


A NEET is a young person who is ‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’.       


Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners' phonemic awareness - the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes (sounds) - in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.

Phonics Check

The phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment that checks whether pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6. 


A screening report can help an individual to realise their functional strengths and weaknesses helping them better understand their difficulties. The output report can also be useful to show an employer evidence of a difficulty being present and can help inform them on the types of adjustment that can be considered to help a person in their role.       

SEC (Special Education Consortium)

SEC is a group of organisations who protect and promote the rights of disabled children and children with SEN.       


​Special Educational Needs refers to a child or young person who has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.       


Special Educational Needs and Disability refers to a child or young person who has a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.       


​Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is a member of staff who has responsibility for coordinating SEN provision within a school.          


Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological, usually hereditary and occur independently of intelligence. They include: dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder.       

SLCN (Speech Language and Communication Needs)

A child with SLCN might have speech that is difficult to understand; struggle to say words or sentences; understand words or instructions; have difficulty talking and listening to others.     


Severe Learning Difficulties is when a student with severe learning difficulties has significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. They may also have difficulties in mobility and co-ordination, communication and perception and the acquisition of self-help skills.       


Teaching Assistants support teachers and pupils in the classroom in primary and secondary schools.       


Teaching or instruction given to an individual or in small groups.