dyslexia - frequently asked questions (faq's)

Jumbled Letters




We get quite a few questions from people asking about Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD's), so I have tried to answer some of the more common questions.

what is dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).


what causes dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia is thought to be inherited and and can be caused by other ways i.e., stroke etc. The causes have not been fully established at the moment.

what are the symptoms of dyslexia? [ back to top ]

People with dyslexia usually have phonological difficulties (i.e., find it difficult to sort out sounds within words,, this means they have problems with reading, writing, spaelling, number work, short-term memory, hand control and visual processing. Timekeeping, sense of direction and interpersonal skills can also be affected. For a fuller description go to the 'Dyslexia Checklist'.

how many people have dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Dyslexia affects approximately 10% of the population.

does dyslexia affect men and women equally? [ back to top ]

Up until recently, it was thought that Dyslexia affected more males than females (approximatley 75-80% men), however, there has been some research in the last few years, to suggest that it is more likely to be 50/50. Further research is being undertaken to try to find out more accurate figures.

are dyslexics of average intelligence? [ back to top ]

Dyslexics are often of high or above average intelligence, these difficulties often result in great frustration, bearing in mind that dyslexics are often of high or above average intelligence.

what signs should I look for?

Look at the signs for dyslexia on the dyslexia checklist or go on-line and try one of the free dyslexia on-line tests.

if you have dyslexia will you always have it? [ back to top ]

Yes, like colour blindness, it is permanent.

are there good things about having dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Yes, people with dyslexia are usually very good at creative work and excel in areas such as:

* Architecture
* Arts
* Computer sciences
* Construction
* Electronics
* Engineering
* Entertainment
* Mathematics
* Physics
* Sports.

my school headmaster has told me that dyslexia does not exist, what can i do about it? [ back to top ]

In the UK, dyslexia comes under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Therefore, I think you should immediately make an official complaint to the Local Education Authority (LEA).

If you are outside the UK, where dyslexia is not yet recognised try to offer help to the teachers, schools etc by showing them useful websites.

can you cure dyslexia? [ back to top ]

You cannot cure dyslexia because it is not an illness. However, you can be taught ways to ‘overcome dyslexia’. Teachers should use multi-sensory learning methods.

can i demand the school assesses my child? [ back to top ]

If you can show that your child needs a test, you can approach the teacher or head teacher and request an assessment. However, only the head-teacher can put your child forward for an assessment with an Educational Psychologist. Sometimes, this may take a very long time, whilst your child is falling further behind. It may be best for you to have your child tested privately


is there a booklet where I can get factual information on getting help at school? [ back to top ]

Read the Code of Practice Information Booklet produced by the DFES.
Website: www.dfes.gov.uk

My son is at school, how can I get him tested for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

  • Ask the head-teacher at his school.
  • Go private, to a Specialist Teacher for a Diagnostic Assessment.
  • Go private to an Educational Psychologist.
  • For further information, click on: Dyslexia Assessments.

is there any treatment? [ back to top ]

If your child’s difficulties are identified and an individual education plan (IEP) put into place the child should be able to overcome his problems. This would usually involve a specialist teacher putting in alternative approaches to his work, i.e., (multi-sensory teaching methods), which use all the senses – especially, visual techniques and physical movement. This method of teaching has proven to be highly effective and helps students to remember spellings more easily.

what research is being done? [ back to top ]

*The NINDS and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health, conduct research on dyslexia. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat dyslexia and other learning disabilities, increasing the understanding of the biological basis of learning disabilities, and exploring the relationship between neurophysiological processes and cognitive functions with regard to reading ability.

*NINDS March 2005©

can you recommend some good books? [ back to top ]

There are hundreds of excellent good books around. dyslexia book list.

where can i get help? [ back to top ]

There are many useful organisations, click on: dyslexia links.

i want to get my child tested, can I book a test? [ back to top ]

Click on the link below to book a test.

can you test adults for dyslexia? [ back to top ]

Yes, please click on the link below to book a test.