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Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that impairs a person's ability to read and write.

Dyslexia affects the way that the brain processes written materials, making it more difficult to recognize, spell, and decode words. It commonly affects word recognition, spelling, and the ability to match letters to sounds. While it is a neurological condition, dyslexia has no relation to intelligence.

Dyslexia is common. Some experts believe that 5 - 10% of people have it, while some others estimate that the prevalence is 17%.

The effects of dyslexia vary from person to person. People with the condition generally have trouble reading quickly and reading without making mistakes. They may also have trouble understanding what they read. Dyslexia is a neurological issue, and it can run in families. It is not the result of poor teaching, instruction, or upbringing. While it can be challenging, almost everyone with dyslexia can learn to read if they receive the right instruction.

Kids with dyslexia don't outgrow it. But there are teaching approaches and strategies that can help people with dyslexia improve their reading skills and manage the challenges.


People can show symptoms of dyslexia at any age, but they tend to appear during childhood. 

Learning to speak

A child with dyslexia may take longer to learn to speak. They may also mispronounce words, find rhyming challenging, and appear not to distinguish between different word sounds.

Learning to read

This difficulty can present as early as in preschool. A child may find it difficult to match letters to sounds, and they may have trouble recognizing the sounds in words. Dyslexia symptoms can also arise when young people start learning more complex skills. For example, the condition can cause difficulty with:

  • grammar
  • reading comprehension
  • reading fluency
  • sentence structure
  • in-depth writing

Learning to write

On paper, a person with dyslexia may reverse numbers and letters without realizing it.

Also, some children with dyslexia do not follow expected patterns of learning progression. For example, they may learn to spell a word and completely forget the next day.

Processing sounds

If a word has more than two syllables, processing the sounds can become much more challenging. For example, in the word "unfortunately" a person with dyslexia may be able to process the sounds "un"&"ly", but not those in between.

Sets of data

Children with dyslexia may take longer to learn the letters of the alphabet and how to pronounce them. They may also have trouble remembering the days of the week, months of the year, colours, and some arithmetic tables.


People with dyslexia often find it hard to concentrate. This may be because, after a few minutes of struggling to read or write, they feel mentally exhausted. Also, compared with the general population, a higher number of children with dyslexia also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to some estimates, 30% of those with dyslexia also have ADHD, compared with 3 - 5% of the general school population experiencing both conditions.

Managing dyslexia

There is no cure for dyslexia, but a range of approaches can help make daily tasks much easier.

Dyslexia affects each person differently, and most people find ways to accommodate their learning differences and thrive.

Receiving a diagnosis and support early in life can have long-term benefits. Managing dyslexia in children may involve:

  • Adapted learning tools: Children with dyslexia may benefit from learning tools that tap into their senses, such as touch, vision, and hearing. 
  • It can also help to adapt any working or learning space
  • organizing notes visually, using highlighters or a colour-coding system
  • using tools such as flash cards and the text-to-speech (OCR))/speech-to-text and text-highlighting tools can help dyslexic, and other print-disabled users.

Acuity-Speech (OCR)

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.