Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.
It's a "specific learning difficulty", which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn't affected.
It's estimated that up to 1 in every 10 to 20 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.
Dyslexia is lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.
What are the signs of dyslexia?
Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts school and begins to focus more on learning how to read and write.
A person with dyslexia may:
read and write very slowly
confuse the order of letters in words
put letters the wrong way round – such as writing "b" instead of "d"
have poor or inconsistent spelling
understand information when told verbally, but have difficulty with information that's written down
find it hard to carry out a sequence of directions
struggle with planning and organisation
However, people with dyslexia often have good skills in other areas,
Find AnswersIf you think your child may have dyslexia, the first step is to speak to their teacher or their school's special needs coordinator (SENCO) or an experienced person about your concerns. They may be able to offer additional support to help your child if necessary. Sometimes a formal assessment can provide the definitive answer to the question "am I dyslexic?"
If your child continues to have problems despite extra support, you or the school may want to consider requesting a formal assessment from a specialist dyslexia teacher or an educational psychologist.
This can be arranged through the school, or you can request a private assessment by contacting:
an educational psychologist directly – you can find a directory of chartered psychologists on the British Psychological Society's website or an organisation that can arrange an assessment, such as Dyslexia Action or a local specialist.
Adults who wish to be assessed for dyslexia should contact a local or national dyslexia association for advice.