Dyslexia: Symptoms, Causes, Classification And Treatments

The Dyslexia is a condition or disorder based on the defined brain as Difficulty Specific for Learning (DEA), persistent, that it occurs in children without any physical, mental or social – cultural disadvantage and whose origin is derived from an alteration of neurodevelopmental His main treatment being the work with teachers specialized in re-teaching reading-writing techniques.


In technical psychological terms, it is defined as a discrepancy between the learning potential and the level of performance of a person, without there being any type of problem (sensory, physical, motor or educational deficiency).

People with this disorder find it difficult to recognize and process certain types of information, such as matching the sound of a letter and its symbol, and then mixing them up and making a word. It could become very difficult to read automatically or effortlessly.

For this reason people believe that it is a visual problem because individuals reverse the letters or write backwards.

Like other types of learning difficulties, it is a lifelong condition, that is, children do not overcome it when they grow up, some experts believe that the number of people who suffer from this condition  varies between 5% and 10%, others say up to 17% show signs of reading difficulties.

It is also important to know that although it affects learning, it has nothing to do with intelligence, children who have this condition are as intelligent as their peers and many people affected with this disease have successful careers, including actors, businessmen and politicians.

1.- Symptoms

This condition affects people at various levels, and therefore the symptoms may differ from one child to another, these symptoms manifest as problems with precision and fluency when reading and spelling, but, in some children, it can also affect writing, mathematics and language .

  • Decode Words:

ability to match letters to sounds and then use them to read words accurately and fluently.

One reason kids have trouble decoding is that they often have trouble with a more basic language skill called phonological awareness, the ability to recognize individual sounds in words. Problems with this skill can manifest themselves from preschool or early education.

  • Complex skills:

Grammar, reading comprehension, reading fluency, sentence structure and more detailed writing.

  • Anxiety:

Children avoid reading, both aloud (with the appropriate tone and grouping words and phrases correctly) and to themselves, they can even become anxious or frustrated when reading (this can occur even after they have mastered the basic principles of the reading.

  • Difficulty:

Difficulty “pronouncing” unfamiliar words, writing or copying letters, numbers, and symbols in the correct order, removing the initial sound of a word, and rhyming.

  • Other:

They quickly forget to write many of the words they study, have to reread sentences and paragraphs, read at a lower academic level than they speak, omit short words, prefer multiple-choice questions to fill in the blanks or short answer.

Reciting the alphabet, naming letters, and reading is characterized by omissions, substitutions, distortions, reversals or addictions, slowness, hesitations, visual tracking problems, and comprehension deficits.

Dyslexia affects not only learning, but also daily skills and activities including social interaction, memory, and stress management .

2.- Causes or Origin

Researchers have not yet identified exactly what the cause is, but they do know that differences in genes and the brain play an important role:

  • Genes and inheritance:  There are hereditary factors that predispose to suffer from it, about 40% of siblings have the same difficulties with reading, 49% of parents also have them. A group of genes related to difficulties in reading with language processing have also been found.
  • Brain anatomy and activity: Neurological studies have found differences in angular gyrus; (brain structure located in the parietal lobe of the left cerebral hemisphere) between subjects with the condition and control groups, they occur in areas of the brain related to important reading skills.

However, other factors that may be involved in the course of the disorder are not yet clear, such as genetic causes, difficulties in pregnancy or childbirth, brain injuries, emotional problems, space-time deficits, or orientation problems. sequential, adaptive difficulties in school or visual perception .

Other minority theories associate it with the fact that the right cerebral hemisphere, which would be responsible for processing visual information, performs its task at a slower speed than the left side, which is in charge of language processes, or that there is a poor interhemispheric connection.

From the point of view of psycholinguistics, it has been seen that one of the central deficits is low phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the knowledge that people have to divide speech and writing into smaller and smaller structures.

3.- Classification

  • Acquired dyslexia:  one that results after a specific brain injury.
  • Developmental Dyslexia:  occurs in patients who intrinsically have difficulties to achieve correct reading skills, for no apparent reason to explain it.
  • Reading Delay: it is a disorder motivated by specific causes (superficial reading, poor schooling, etc.).
  • According to the predominant type of symptom:
    • Superficial dyslexia: it is one in which the subject predominantly uses the phonological route (the one that allows us to read the regular words from smaller segments), however, the subjects will have problems in those homophone words.
    • Phonological dyslexia: is one in which the individual predominantly uses the visual route to read words (the one that allows us to read globally, without dividing the word into parts).
  • According to the moment of diagnosis:
    • Specific dyslexia: it manifests itself in the period of learning to read.
    • Comprehension dyslexia: It is one that manifests or appears in periods after learning to read (they do not allow an optimal understanding of what they read).

4 .- Associated Disorders

  1. Agrafia: disorder related to writing.
  2. Dyscalculia: disorder related to numeracy skills.
  3. Dysmapia: difficulty reading maps and finding places, related to the confusion of the cardinal points or spatial orientation.
  4. Dysperflexia: Moderate aphasia that encompasses a spectrum of disorders .
  5. ADHD: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  6. Dysgraphia: specific difficulty learning to write correctly
  7. Dysphasia: lack of coordination of words
  8. Dyspraxia : lack of coordination in movements


Diagnosis and prevention should begin as soon as possible, from the moment the first anomalies are observed, thus avoiding many problems of school and personal maladjustment.

Professionals who study dyslexia are graduates specializing in the study of the brain and learning both outside and inside school such as neuropsychologists, psychopedagogues, reading specialists, speech and language pathologists, child psychologists and special education teachers.

Its approaches are based on: teaching, intervention, school supports and services, counseling and diagnosis, it should be noted that there are no medications or medical treatment for dyslexia, therefore, some important steps to follow are:

  • Find and emphasize the areas in which the child excels.
  • Use computers and new technologies as useful learning tools in the development of writing skills.
  • Implement Exercises:
    • Mental activity (attention and memory, organizing and ordering elements, observing and distinguishing some objects from others).
    • Perceptual and manual (recognize and group objects according to color, size and shape).
    • For the acquisition of knowledge of your own body.
    • Static balance (standing on one foot, standing on tiptoe, etc).
    • Dynamic balance (jumping on two feet, jumping with one foot, etc).
    • Spatial (bottom-up, front-back, etc.)
    • Language (naming and defining objects, drawings, telling stories).
    • Reading and pre-writing (They help to follow the movement and recognition of letters, at this level the learning of vowels, consonants and numbers is exercised).
  • Suggest the student to use visual resources to study and encourage their creativity.
  • Assign specific, concrete and short tasks.
  • As for the evaluations, the time should not be limited, preferably carried out orally and not in writing, it should not be penalized for spelling mistakes.

All these rehabilitation exercises must increase their complexity depending on the chronological age of the child, and stimulate and acquire those learning where they have become stagnant.

Many dyslexic children are able to compensate for their disadvantages with relative ease; although they tend to have more difficulties to overcome the emotional problem of feeling incapable.

Neurolinguistics and language psychology are responsible for studying dyslexia that can be overcome when correctly diagnosed and treated with patience and willpower.

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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.

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