Rupa Anandakumar is one of many people to have a form of dyslexia but she has not let it get in the way of what she wants to do.

She is now a therapist working with autistic children.

Nicky Woodward is also dyslexic. Having dealt with the condition from childhood, both women have learned how to cope.

Mrs Woodward is member of the East Sussex Dyslexia Association and helps to provide advice and support for people of all ages and backgrounds.

She is also keen to teach parents of young children how to look out for signs of dyslexia.

The earlier the condition is spotted, the quicker steps can be taken to help a child overcome its problems.

Millions of children could benefit from a new, drug-free treatment system which relies on exercises similar to those used by astronauts.

Early trials have produced promising results.

It has been claimed severely affected children showed improvements that were up to 32 per cent better than non-dyslexic children in writing, up to 42 per cent better in spelling and 67 per cent better in reading.

The improvements were measured over a six-month period during independent research carried out by Exeter University Professor David Reynolds, a former chairman of the Governments numeracy taskforce.

He examined the treatment devised by the Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Disorder (DDAT) centre in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and said its potential was "absolutely phenomenal".

He said: "With 15 per cent of all schoolchildren estimated to have some form of dyslexia, treatment of this issue has worldwide implications.

"The great thing about this particular system is that it has been researched and evaluated scientifically no other treatment has been evaluated as scientifically as this."

The treatment targets the cerebellum, the coordinating centre of the brain, and stimulates it using exercises instead of drugs.

"Many children struggle at school with learning difficulties and up until now no one has been able to explain why they underachieve.

"This is because the problem has been so misunderstood.

Until now, the science has never been there to provide an understanding of the root causes and provide a solution."

Sharon Edwards, from Haywards Heath, is excited about the progress being made.

She said: "I have suffered from dyslexia for many years and have learned to cope but I am worried about my son as he is now showing signs of the condition.

"Anything that may be able to help him in the future is very good news, especially anything that avoids using drugs as that is one thing I would be reluctant to put him through."

The word dyslexia comes from the Greek and means difficulty with words. The condition affects the underlying skills that are needed for learning to read, write and spell.

About four per cent of the population is severely dyslexic while a further six per cent has mild to moderate problems.

The condition can affect people from all backgrounds and of all abilities but they can still learn effectively, although they need a different approach.

People with dyslexia often have distinctive talents as well as certain difficulties but the condition varies in degree and from person to person.

Difficulties include erratic spelling, reading hesitantly, misreading, which makes understanding words difficult, and problems with sequences such as getting dates in order.

Dyslexic people hear and see normally but have difficulty remembering what they hear and see.

Some are bad at organisation and time management and can have problems sorting their thoughts clearly.

Brain scan experiments have shown dyslexics use different areas of the brain to process information.

For more details, call the British Dyslexia Association helpline on 0118 966 8271 or email