What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is classed as a learning difficulty, and it is a lifelong condition which may limit an individual’s ability to learn to read and write. As with other learning difficulties, there is no cure for Dyslexia, but there are ways to manage the condition to help an individual to live a healthy, happy life.

What are the symptoms of Dyslexia?

An individual can be diagnosed with Dyslexia at any time in their life, but symptoms can develop during their childhood. Some young children may not become confident with their ability to write or read, or there may be a delay with the development of these skills, and this can be a sign of Dyslexia. Young children with Dyslexia may find nursery rhymes difficult to learn, or a child may show signs that they are struggling with other, more advanced types of language.

As a child grows up, symptoms of Dyslexia can become more apparent as they learn more advanced language at school, and when they are expected to be reading more complex books. A child may seem sociable, chatty and confident with verbal language and communication, but they may struggle to write things down or may be unsure about spelling. A child’s handwriting may be visibly inferior to their peers, and this may become particularly noticeable as they reach primary school age.

Children who are at Primary or Secondary school might report that they tend to experience written words that look blurry, or words that seem to move around on the page. These symptoms can cause difficulties in class or at live performances, if a teacher asks a child to read aloud, or if a child is reading from a script during a school performance.

Dyslexia can often go undetected for years, and an individual may not be diagnosed until they are an adult. But there are a few signs that can indicate Dyslexia, even if the condition has not previously been a consideration. If a teenager has undetected Dyslexia, they may seem hesitant or anxious about producing assignments or writing stories in class. A young person may seem gradual or slow to complete work if they are struggling with writing or spelling. The individual may lack confidence in their ability to produce the work.

It is a similar situation for adults. If an individual is required to write a report or send a letter at work, the person may be slow to begin the task or seem anxious about any complex words that they need to use.

what are the symptoms for dyslexia

Dyslexia causes

As with many learning difficulties, the specific cause of the condition is unknown. But Dyslexia can be passed on within families, and so if a parent or another close relative is Dyslexic, then there is a chance that the condition can be passed on genetically.

Dyslexia diagnosis

A child who has been diagnosed with Dyslexia can be provided with a classroom assistant to support with their work in class. The earlier that a diagnosis can be obtained, the more advantage a child can have with developing their writing and spelling skills. Usually, an Educational Psychologist can be asked to assess a child’s symptoms and decide on whether a Dyslexia diagnosis is applicable.

The journey towards diagnosis can start with a conversation between a child’s parents and teachers. The overall process for a diagnosis can be gradual, but any concerning symptoms will need to be discussed so that all parties can provide their point of view on the individual’s progress.

Often, there will be a questionnaire about the symptoms, so that the parents or teachers can provide a bit more detail and insight into the likelihood of Dyslexia. There are other conditions where the symptoms can overlap with Dyslexia – such as ADHD, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia and so it is important to ensure that the most relevant condition is being discussed.

dyslexia diagnosis

An Educational Psychologist will normally provide little tasks for a child to complete, which are designed to show how their reading and writing ability is developing. The Educational Psychologist may also sit in on a child’s class to observe how they are responding to classwork, taking notes and listening to their teacher’s instructions.

Following the assessment, the Educational Psychologist will compose a report listing which areas that the child is stronger and any areas that need improvement, or which are showing as being weaker than their peers within their age group. These results can be used to specify ways that the condition can be managed, including any recommendations for extra support. It is possible that, following diagnosis, a child can be enrolled into a school for children with Special Educational Needs, where they will be able to gain more support than they might be able to at an ordinary school.

Why is a diagnosis critical?

As with other learning difficulties, the earlier that a child can gain a diagnosis for their symptoms, the easier their life may become. An undetected learning difficulty can lead to a child struggling with their academic work, or concerns from teachers or peers about the level that a child is working at. Once diagnosed, a child will have the option of extra support, and they will also have the option of switching to a Special Educational Needs establishment.

Dyslexia treatment

Initially, children with Dyslexia may not show a genuine interest in books or reading, due to any symptoms that they may experience which prove detrimental to their ability to read, or their enjoyment of reading. But if a child is being encouraged to read by a parent, it can really improve their overall experience. A parent can read with a child, congratulate them for reading small sentences or paragraphs correctly, and prompt discussions about interesting aspects of the book. This may lead to a child taking an interest in reading, and therefore improving some of their language skills.

For teenagers or adults, providing an individual with a laptop or a special computer can really help their ability to complete assignments at school, college or university. For adults, having access to programmes such as Microsoft Word, or other software with a spellcheck system, can help an individual to learn about their spelling and provide help and advice on what they have written.

African tutor helps with school subject to little kid girl


Around 15% of the population have some symptoms of Dyslexia, even if the symptoms are not strong enough to be detected. Dyslexia is a condition where the symptoms are varied, and so there are a few different types of Dyslexia.

Some Dyslexic people may struggle with recalling letters or numbers from a newspaper, magazine or any page containing information. Individuals may also have difficulty with syllables or understanding how a word is broken up into individual sounds. For example, an individual may struggle to break down the word “house” into “Hou-se”. These symptoms are referred to as Double deficit Dyslexia, where it is possible that two different types of Dyslexia are present.

Some dyslexic people may have trouble specifying letters and numbers while they are reading or looking at a page of information. Individuals may also struggle with writing things down, taking notes and performing mathematics. This type of dyslexia is normally inherited genetically, and it is referred to as Primary Dyslexia.

It is also possible for an individual to be affected by Auditory Dyslexia, Visual Dyslexia and Secondary Dyslexia.

Dyslexia and Autism share some overlapping traits, but there isn’t a connection. However, it is possible for an individual to be diagnosed with both conditions during their lifetime.

Frustration is a common emotion that can affect people with Dyslexia. Individuals, and young children in particular, can feel frustration or anger at the prospect of falling behind their friends and peers at school. Dyslexia may also cause an individual to feel different from their friends, which can lead to low confidence and low self-esteem.


Dyslexia is a condition which can affect an individual’s ability to read, write and spell. Dyslexia is classed as a specific learning difficulty, and therefore it can make learning difficult but a child with Dyslexia will usually have normal intelligence. Dyslexia symptoms will often be on show at a young age, and it is possible for an individual to be diagnosed in their early childhood, but the condition can also go undetected for a long time. It is possible to be diagnosed with Dyslexia at any stage of life. Dyslexia is a condition which can be managed, and the symptoms can be improved, but the condition cannot be cured.

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