From DisabilityWiki

Dyslexia is a common learning disability that primarily affects the skills involved in the reading and spelling of words, despite having no relation to a person's general intelligence.

Dyslexia Simulation[edit]

Note: This simulation involves text with motion. Do not use if you are sensitive to animation.

This is a visual representation of how some people might experience dyslexia. Below is a paragraph from the first chapter of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.' Read it as you would naturally.

Toggle Dyslexia Simulation

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.[1]

This condition is most often characterized by:

  • difficulties in accurately recognizing words
  • poor decoding abilities
  • struggles with spelling and writing

Types of Dyslexia[edit]

Phonological Dyslexia[edit]

This type of dyslexia refers to a struggle to break down words into smaller units, making it hard to match sounds with their written form. This difficulty in processing phonetic aspects of language often results in spelling errors and reading difficulties.

Surface Dyslexia[edit]

In contrast to phonological dyslexia, surface dyslexia is characterized by struggles with the sight reading of words, or processing their whole form. Individuals with surface dyslexia tend to attempt to read every word phonetically, which leads to errors, particularly with irregularly spelled words.

Rapid Naming Deficit[edit]

Rapid Naming Deficit relates to the speed at which an individual can name a series of colors, objects, numbers, or letters. Those with this type of dyslexia can struggle with reading fluency.

Symptoms and Diagnosis[edit]

Dyslexia often becomes apparent during childhood, often when a child first begins to learn to read. Some common symptoms include unusual difficulty learning to read or write, problems with spelling, struggles with sequencing and organization and a tendency to write letters and numbers flipped in reverse or in the wrong sequence.

Diagnosis of dyslexia typically involves a series of evaluations by educational psychologists, including reading and spelling tests, the ability to process phonological information and speed of processing.

Neurological Basis of Dyslexia[edit]

Recent advances in neuroscience have shed light on the neurobiological factors that contribute to dyslexia. Neuro-imaging studies have revealed differences in the way the brain of a person with dyslexia develops and functions.[2] Most notably, areas of the brain involved in key reading skills may not sync efficiently.

Adult-Onset Dyslexia[edit]

Although dyslexia is commonly identified in early childhood, it can also occur later in life; this is known as adult-onset dyslexia. Unlike developmental dyslexia, adult-onset dyslexia is not a learning disability but is typically acquired due to brain injury, stroke or dementia. It can also be a symptom of less common neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis or brain tumors. The symptoms of adult-onset dyslexia can be similar to those seen in developmental dyslexia.

Treatment of adult-onset dyslexia involves addressing the underlying cause. For instance, if a stroke has led to dyslexia, rehabilitation therapies including physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy might be included in the treatment plan. Assistive technology, such as text-to-speech and speech-to-text software, can also be beneficial for those with adult-onset dyslexia. Cognitive therapy is another approach that can help individuals develop strategies to cope with their reading difficulties.

Treatment and Support[edit]

There is no known cure for dyslexia, but early intervention can equip individuals with important skills and strategies for coping. Support can come in various forms, including educational techniques and strategies, as well as therapy for phonological and sensory processing skills. Technology is also playing a role in providing solutions that aid people with dyslexia in their daily lives.

Impact of Dyslexia on Life and Career[edit]

While dyslexia can pose challenges, it is important to note that many people with dyslexia have successful careers and lead fulfilling lives. Individuals can leverage strengths often associated with dyslexia, such as big-picture thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills, to excel in various fields. Many successful personalities who work in areas from arts and sciences to politics and sports have dyslexia, including Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, and Agatha Christie.


Understanding dyslexia is crucial to better support those living with this condition. It is a lifelong journey that affects not only academic achievement but also self-esteem and social skills. With the right support, individuals can overcome many of dyslexia's challenges.

Community Forum[edit]

See Also[edit]


  1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - Chapter 1 Project Gutenberg Retrieved July 2nd, 2023.
  2. Dyslexia and the Brain International Dyslexia Association Retrieved July 2nd, 2023.

Last update: 2023-09-07