Symptoms and Signs of Dyslexia
(Learning Disorders: Reading)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Dyslexia
(Learning Disorders: Reading)

Dyslexia (reading disorder) is a general term for disorders involving difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols, but do not affect general intelligence. Signs and symptoms may differ with age.

  • Preschool – difficulty recognizing alphabet letters, language delays, trouble rhyming, trouble wit letter sounds
  • Early elementary – difficulty reading single words (often needs visual clues), slow speed of reading, poor spelling, generally good math concepts, substitutions of letters, difficulty with pseudowords.
  • Later elementary and middle school – math difficulties involving word problems, Difficulties with assignments involving reading lengthy text, trouble in comprehension of reading text.

The cause or causes of dyslexia are unknown. However, it may be linked to certain genes that affect brain processes of language and reading. Risk factors include a family history of dyslexia, premature or low birth weight, fetal exposure to nicotine, drugs, alcohol or infection.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.