Dyslexia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that makes it difficult for the brain to process graphic symbols. The condition makes it hard to learn to read. Dyslexia problem is a linguistic, not a visual one. Dyslexia is not connected to lack of intelligence. People with severe dyslexia can be very brilliant.

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The effects of dyslexia differ from person to person. The only shared quality among people with dyslexia is that they read at levels lower than people of their age.

The brain processes written material differently in a people with dyslexia, this makes it hard to spell, recognize, and decode words.

People with dyslexia have problems understanding what they read. Dyslexia is a neurological and often genetic condition, and not the result of poor teaching, instruction, or upbringing. About 5 and 15 percent of people in the United States have dyslexia.

Symptoms of Dyslexia

The most common signs and symptoms associated with dyslexia can be seen at any age, but they normally present in childhood. Childhood symptoms of dyslexia include:

Difficulty in learning to read

Most kids with dyslexia have normal intelligence and receive proper teaching and parental support, but they have trouble learning to read.

Milestones reached later

Children with dyslexia may learn to crawl, walk, talk, and ride a bicycle later than other kids their age.

Delayed speech development

Children with dyslexia may take longer to learn to speak, and they may pronounce words wrongly, find rhyming challenging, and appear not to differentiate between different word sounds.

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Slow at learning sets of data

Children with dyslexia may take longer to learn the letters of the alphabet and how they are pronounced. There may be problems remembering the days of the week, months of the year, colors, and some arithmetic tables.


Children with dyslexia tend to be clumsier than their peers. Catching a ball may be difficult. Poorer eye-hand coordination may be a symptom of other similar neurological conditions.

Left and right

The child may confuse “left” and “right.”


They may reverse numbers and letters without understanding.


They might not follow a pattern of progression seen in other children. They may learn how to spell a word and completely forget the next day.

Speech problems

If a word has more than two syllables, phonological processing becomes much more challenging. For example, with the word “unluckily” a person with dyslexia may be able to process the sounds “un” and “ly,” but not the ones in between.

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Concentration span

Children with dyslexia commonly find it hard to concentrate. Many adults with dyslexia say this is because, after a few minutes of non-stop struggling, the child is mentally exhausted. A higher number of children with dyslexia also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD).

Autoimmune conditions

People with dyslexia tend to develop immunological problems, such as eczema, asthma, hay fever and other allergies.

Causes of Dyslexia

Some specialists suspects dyslexia is genetic as it often runs in families.

Two key factors appear to be:

  • Genetic causes:A team at the Yale School of Medicine found that defects in a gene, known as DCDC2, were linked with problems in reading performance.
  • Acquired dyslexia:A small minority of people with dyslexia acquire the condition after they are born, usually due to some type of trauma such as brain injury or stroke.

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability. 80 percent of students with learning disabilities have dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association estimates that 15 to 20 percent of the American population has some of the symptoms of dyslexia.

Dyslexia affects people of all ethnic backgrounds, although a person’s native language can play an important role. A language where there is a clear connection between how a word is written and how it sounds, and consistent grammatical rules, such as Italian and Spanish, can be easier for a person with mild to moderate dyslexia.

Types of Dyslexia

Dyslexia can be broken down into different subtypes:

Phonological dyslexia: This occurs when the person has difficulty breaking down words into smaller units, making it difficult to match sounds with their written form. This is also known as dysphonetic dyslexia or auditory dyslexia.

Surface dyslexia: The person cannot recognize a word by sight, making words hard to remember and learn. This is sometimes called dyseidectic dyslexia or visual dyslexia.

Rapid naming deficit: The person cannot quickly name a letter or number when they see it.

Double deficit dyslexia: The person finds it tough to separate sounds also to name letters and numbers.

Visual dyslexia: The person has a rare visual experience when looking at words, although this can overlay with surface dyslexia.


If a parent, guardian, or teacher suspects a child may have dyslexia, they should ask the child’s school about a professional evaluation. Early diagnosis is more likely to help. Test results may also open the door to more support for the child.

They may become eligible for special education services, support programs, and services in colleges and universities.

Diagnostic tests often cover the following areas:

  • background information
  • intelligence
  • oral language skills
  • word recognition
  • decoding, or the ability to read new words by using letter-sound knowledge
  • phonological processing
  • automaticity and fluency skills
  • reading comprehension
  • vocabulary knowledge
  • family history and early development


Compensatory strategies can help people cope with dyslexia in day-to-day life. Early diagnosis and support can lead to long-term improvements.

Interventions may include:

  • Psychological testing: This helps teachers develop a better-targeted program for the child. Methods usually involve tapping into the child’s senses, including touch, vision, and hearing.
  • Guidance and support: Counseling can help reduce any negative impact on self-confidence.
  • On-going evaluation: Adults with dyslexia may benefit from evaluation to continue developing their coping strategies and identify areas where more support is required.


Disclaimer: The content provided on healthdiary365.com is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.


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