Dyslexia

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Dyslexia Facts

  • Dyslexia is difficulty in learning to read.
  • Dyslexia can be related to brain injury, heredity, or hormonal influences.
  • Letter and number reversals are a common warning sign of dyslexia.
  • Diagnosis of dyslexia involves reviewing the child's processing of information from seeing, hearing, and participating in activities.
  • Treatment of dyslexia ideally involves planning between the parent(s) and the teachers.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia has been around for a long time and has been defined in different ways. For example, in 1968, the World Federation of Neurologists defined dyslexia as "a disorder in children who, despite conventional classroom experience, fail to attain the language skills of reading, writing, and spelling commensurate with their intellectual abilities." According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, dyslexia is a learning disability that can hinder a person's ability to read, write, spell, and sometimes speak. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in children and persists throughout life. The severity of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe. The sooner dyslexia is treated, the more favorable the outcome; however, it is never too late for people with dyslexia to learn to improve their language skills.

Children with dyslexia have difficulty in learning to read despite traditional instruction, at least average intelligence, and an adequate opportunity to learn. It is caused by an impairment in the brain's ability to translate images received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. It does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental retardation, brain damage, or a lack of intelligence.

Dyslexia can go undetected in the early grades of schooling. Children can become frustrated by the difficulty in learning to read, and other problems can arise that disguise dyslexia. They may show signs of depression and low self-esteem. Behavior problems at home, as well as at school, often manifest. Children may become unmotivated and develop a dislike for school, and their success there may be jeopardized if the problem remains untreated.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/2/2013

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Dyslexia Symptoms and Signs

What are the signs of a child learning disability?

There is no one sign that shows a person has a learning disability. Experts look for a noticeable difference between how well a child does in school and how well he or she could do, given his or her intelligence or ability. There are also certain clues that may mean a child has a learning disability. We've listed a few below. Most relate to elementary school tasks, because learning disabilities tend to be identified in elementary school. A child probably won't show all of these signs, or even most of them. However, if a child shows a number of these problems, then parents and the teacher should consider the possibility that the child has a learning disability.