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Dyslexia, also known as a reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence.[1][2] Different people are affected to varying degrees.[3]

Signs and symptoms 1

Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, "sounding out" words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads.[3][4] Often these difficulties are first noticed at school.[5]


Signs and symptoms 2

When someone who previously could read loses their ability, it is known as "alexia".[3] The difficulties are involuntary and people with this disorder have a normal desire to learn.[3] People with dyslexia have higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental language disorders, and difficulties with numbers.[5][6][7]

Cause 1

Dyslexia is believed to be caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors.[5] Some cases run in families.[3]

Cause 2

Dyslexia that develops due to a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia is called "acquired dyslexia".[1] The underlying mechanisms of dyslexia are problems within the brain's language processing.[3]


Dyslexia is diagnosed through a series of tests of memory, vision, spelling, and reading skills.[8] Dyslexia is separate from reading difficulties caused by hearing or vision problems or by insufficient teaching or opportunity to learn.[5]


Treatment involves adjusting teaching methods to meet the person's needs.[1] While not curing the underlying problem, it may decrease the degree or impact of symptoms.[9] Treatments targeting vision are not effective.[10]

Epidemiology 1

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and occurs in all areas of the world.[11] It affects 3–7% of the population,[5][12] however, up to 20% of the general population may have some degree of symptoms.[13]

Epidemiology 2

While dyslexia is more often diagnosed in men,[5] it has been suggested that it affects men and women equally.[11] Some believe that dyslexia should be best considered as a different way of learning, with both benefits and downsides.[14][15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Dyslexia Information Page". National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2 November 2018.
  2. Siegel LS (November 2006). "Perspectives on dyslexia". Paediatrics & Child Health. 11 (9): 581–7. doi:10.1093/pch/11.9.581. PMC 2528651. PMID 19030329.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "What are reading disorders?". National Institutes of Health. 1 December 2016.
  4. "What are the symptoms of reading disorders?". National Institutes of Health. 1 December 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Peterson, Robin L.; Pennington, Bruce F. (May 2012). "Developmental dyslexia". Lancet. 379 (9830): 1997–2007. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60198-6. PMC 3465717. PMID 22513218.
  6. Sexton, Chris C.; Gelhorn, Heather L.; Bell, Jill A.; Classi, Peter M. (November 2012). "The Co-occurrence of Reading Disorder and ADHD: Epidemiology, Treatment, Psychosocial Impact, and Economic Burden". Journal of Learning Disabilities. 45 (6): 538–564. doi:10.1177/0022219411407772. PMID 21757683.
  7. Bishop, DV; Snowling, MJ; Thompson, PA; Greenhalgh, T; CATALISE, consortium. (2016). "CATALISE: A Multinational and Multidisciplinary Delphi Consensus Study. Identifying Language Impairments in Children". PLOS ONE. 11 (7): e0158753. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1158753B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158753. PMC 4938414. PMID 27392128. Language impairment frequently co-occurs with other neurodevelopmental difficulties, including... reading difficulties
  8. "How are reading disorders diagnosed?". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  9. "What are common treatments for reading disorders?". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  10. Handler, SM; Fierson, WM; Section on, Ophthalmology; Council on Children with, Disabilities; American Academy of, Ophthalmology; American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and, Strabismus; American Association of Certified, Orthoptists (March 2011). "Learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision". Pediatrics. 127 (3): e818–56. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-3670. PMID 21357342.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Umphred, Darcy Ann; Lazaro, Rolando T.; Roller, Margaret; Burton, Gordon (2013). Neurological Rehabilitation. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 383. ISBN 978-0-323-26649-9. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017.
  12. Kooij, J. J. Sandra (2013). Adult ADHD diagnostic assessment and treatment (3rd ed.). London: Springer. p. 83. ISBN 9781447141389. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016.
  13. "How many people are affected by/at risk for reading disorders?". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  14. Venton, Danielle (September 2011). "The Unappreciated Benefits of Dyslexia". Wired. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  15. Mathew, Schneps (August 2014). "The Advantages of Dyslexia". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.