Dyslexia is more common in adults than you may think. In fact, 14.5 to 43.5 million children and adults have dyslexia according to the Society for Neuroscience. Dyslexia effects a person's ability to read, write, or spell. How can you tell if you have dyslexia? To know with 100% certainty, there are dyslexic evaluations and tests that can determine your reading abilities and diagnose you with a reading disorder. However, here are some signs that you may want to get tested:
Signs of Dyslexia
1. Dislikes or Avoids reading
We tend to view Dyslexia as a reading disorder in which a person can't read at all. In actuality, the individual can read and write without too many obvious errors. Instead, reading is strenuous and exhausting. Many adults with undiagnosed dyslexia may read as little as possible. As a dyslexic myself, I prefer audiobooks and podcasts for this very reason. If you find yourself avoiding reading, you may want to get tested.
2. Slow reading or writing
Slower reading and writing abilities are a common trait in those struggling with dyslexia. Ever read an article next to someone and find yourself skipping sections just to keep up? This is a sign that you may have a reading disorder.
3. Poor Spelling
Challenges with spelling are extremely common in dyslexic adults and children. Making simple mistakes such as "there" vs "their" is something that dyslexic adults can struggle with on a regular basis. There are different types of dyslexia that can cause unique issues with spelling including forgetting common words, mixing up letters, or simply skipping or adding letters when writing.
4. Difficulty Planning and Organizing
As unexpected as it may seem, difficulties with planning and organization is sometimes associated with dyslexia in adults. Dyslexia effects more than just reading and writing. It can cause the brain to glance over small details or incorrectly organize information. These difficulties can lead to deficits in planning and organization.
5. Difficulty Memorizing
Memorizing facts or recalling common phrases or names can be greatly hindered by a dyslexic learning style. Dyslexia can effect a process known as "phonological memory" and "symbol imagery." Both of these skills are necessary for rote memorization and word recall. It is common to find learning challenges alongside dyslexia.
6. Reads or writes close to the page
Dyslexia is a complex disorder that can stem from several root causes. Scientists now believe that reading disorders can be a result of a unique style of processing referred to as "peripheral processing." This means that dyslexics tend to fixate on the "big picture" rather than the small details. Dyslexics compensate by reducing their visual field and reading and writing very close to the page.
7. Trouble Speaking
Approximately 80 percent of children who have delayed language development go on to have reading, writing, and spelling deficits. These challenges may subside over time as the person reaches adulthood. However, challenges with language can be a clear sign of phonemic dyslexia.
If you think you may have dyslexic tendencies, there are several routes you can take to get tested. Check out our other posts on diagnosing dyslexia and reading disorders.