Accepted pan-Russian definitions of dyslexia are difficult to find. However, in one instance at least, dyslexia is defined as “Atypical Development”.
In the following slideshare by Professor Elena Grigorenko, we see some of the issues facing dyslexia researchers, and educators, in the Russian Federation:
A definition of dyslexia that may well be widely accepted however goes as follows:
① Immature reading, indicating that the child has difficulty transitioning from letter-to syllable-to word reading. In context of this difficulty, a word is read first letter-by-letter, then syllable-by-syllable, and finally, as a single word (e.g., the word рука(ruka — hand) is read first as р..у..к..а, then as ру..ка, and only finally as рука, as a word).
② Low speed of reading, which is typically coupled with immature reading and is also characterized by lack of accentuation and prosody.
③ Lack of accuracy during reading aloud is manifested in a variety of ways, mostly in vowel and consonant substitution and letter replacement or omission. Typically these errors are not consistent and, while reading the same sentence, the child may make different errors. For example, while reading the word хотела (khotela — wanted in feminine form), a child can generate a number of words that might or might not have meaning (e.g.,ходела, хотила, ходила); similarly, while reading the wordщука (schuka—pike), a child can read чтука or щтука, not noticing that both words are pseudowords. Among such mistakes, vowel substitutions are more common than consonant substitutions; the replacement and omission of letters is relatively infrequent. Of interest is that a comparison of such errors in groups of children with dyslexia with their typically developing peers matched on overall level of reading mastery (i.e., 9-10 year olds vs. 7-8 year olds) did not reveal differences in the percentages of specific types of errors (Kornev, 1995). In other words, children in both groups made similar errors, but children with dyslexia made more of them.
④ Double reading and guessing is also quite common in children with dyslexia. In double reading, the child reads a word twice—first silently and then aloud. The silent reading is typically done letter-by-letter and the reading aloud — syllable-by-syllable or in whole words. Guessing is applied when the child does not recognize the word or recognizes it partially and rather than trying to decode it (or having difficulties decoding it), just guesses, based on the context or randomly, what the word in question might be.
⑤ Lack of comprehension, both at the word and sentence levels, is also a sign of difficulties in reading acquisition.
In Russia, the given prevalence of dyslexia among the population is 5-6%.
See for instance: