The nature of dyslexia is defined and the inadequacies of past and present definitions are discussed showing how they can misdirect identification, assessment and intervention and ignore girls’ needs. Phases in the development of dyslexia are outlined.

Phonological processing deficits are identified as the current main theory and questions are raised about its validity because the evidence points to its correlation with rather than causation of dyslexia. An alternative theory is proposed

The heavy concentration in research and intervention upon reading is criticised and reasons are given for considering spelling as an equal and more problematic issue. Dyslexia and dysorthographia may also co-occur with dyscalculia and/or dysgraphia and other handwriting problems.

Comorbidity or co-occurrences and Dual and Multiple Exceptionalities (DME) are discussed. Questions are raised about addressing other co-occurring individual disorders such as Aspergers and ADHD as though one type of intervention might serve them all when they have distinct clinical and neurological differences.

Assessment is then discussed, and some typical methods are subjected to analysis for their potential to occupy too much teacher time and waste that of dyslexics. Core difficulties in early phase dyslexia are identified from research and suggest that we should intervene years earlier.