Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a disability that can hinder a person’s ability to read, write, and spell. It is a common learning disability in children and lasts throughout life. The severity of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe.

  • Causes


    The causes of dyslexia are neurobiological (having to do with the way the brain is formed and how it functions) and genetic (passed down through families). Dyslexia may also occur in people later in life due to other conditions, such as
    stroke.

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  • Definition

    Dyslexia is a disability that can hinder a person’s ability to read, write, and spell. It is a common learning disability in children and lasts throughout life. The severity of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe.

  • Diagnosis

    You will be asked about you or your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It will include a hearing and vision test. You may then be referred to an expert in learning disabilities, such as a school psychologist, learning specialist, or neurologist (doctor who specializes in the nervous system) for additional testing.

    Additional tests may be done. These may include:

    • Cognitive processing tests—measure of thinking ability
    • IQ test—measure of intellectual functioning
    • Tests to measure speaking, reading, spelling, and writing skills

  • Prevention

    There is little that can be done to prevent dyslexia, especially if it runs in your family. However, early identification and treatment can reduce its effects. The sooner children with dyslexia get special education services, the fewer problems they will have learning to read and write at grade level. Under US federal law, free testing and special education services are available for children in the public school system.

  • Risk Factors

    The only known risk factor is having a family member with dyslexia.

  • Symptoms


    Symptoms may include difficulty in the following areas:

    • Learning to speak
    • Reading and writing at grade level
    • Organizing written and spoken language
    • Learning letters and their sounds
    • Learning number facts
    • Spelling
    • Learning a foreign language
    • Correctly doing math problems

  • Treatment

    Most people with dyslexia need help from a teacher, tutor, or other trained professional. Talk with the doctor and learning specialist about the best treatment plan for you or your child. Treatment options include: