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Dyslexia

(Specific Reading Disability)

Definition

Dyslexia is a common learning problem that makes it hard for someone to read, write, and spell.

Causes

It is caused by problems with certain genes. The way the brain grows and works also plays a role.

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Risk Factors

Having a family member with this problem raises a person's risk.

Symptoms

A person may have problems:

  • Learning to speak
  • Learning letters and their sounds
  • Spelling
  • Reading and writing at grade level
  • Organizing written and spoken words
  • Learning a new language
  • Learning number facts
  • Doing math problems

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam, hearing, and vision tests will be done. Exams may also need to be done by a learning specialist, a psychologist, or a neurologist.

Treatment

There is no cure. Getting treated early can help a child learn to cope. Teachers, tutors, and learning specialists can help. Choices may be:

Remediation

Remediation is a way of teaching language skills. Some methods are:

  • Teaching small amounts at a time
  • Teaching the same topics many times, also known as over-teaching
  • Using all senses to help a child learn

Compensatory Strategies

Compensatory strategies are ways to work-around the problems caused by dyslexia. Some methods are:

  • Audio taping classroom lessons, homework assignments, and texts
  • Using flashcards
  • Sitting in the front of the classroom
  • Using a computer with spelling and grammar checks
  • Having more time to complete homework or tests

Prevention

This problem cannot be prevented.

RESOURCES:

International Dyslexia Association
http://eida.org

National Center for Learning Disabilities
http://www.ld.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Dyslexia Association
http://www.dyslexiaassociation.ca

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

Dyslexia. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/learning_problem/dyslexia.html. Updated September 2018. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Dyslexia basics. International Dyslexia Association website. Available at: http://eida.org/dyslexia-basics. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Frequently asked questions about dyslexia. International Dyslexia Association website. Available at: http://eida.org/frequently-asked-questions-2. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Understanding dyslexia. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/dyslexia.html. Updated September 2018. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Understanding dyslexia. Understood for Learning and Attention Issues website. Available at: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia. Accessed April 8, 2020.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD  Last Updated: 4/8/2020