Dyslexia is one of several learning disorders that make it extra challenging to acquire and retain information. It’s a disorder that makes it difficult to connect written words with their corresponding sounds—as a result, people with dyslexia often struggle with reading, spelling, writing, and sometimes even speaking.
Dyslexia affects people of any age or background. And although some think of it as a sign of low intelligence, dyslexia has nothing to do with how smart you are.
Just like other learning disabilities, dyslexia is not curable. But that doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do about it. With the right tools and strategies, people with dyslexia can learn to read and write more effectively, while also gaining the confidence that they need to be their best selves. In fact, many people with dyslexia will go on to surpass their peers in achievement.
Is Adult Dyslexia Different from Childhood Dyslexia?
Psychologists recognize three types of dyslexia. Most people will have all three but to varying degrees.
Dyseidesia - Mainly affecting your visual skills, dyseidesia makes it hard to distinguish between similar-looking letters. It may also prevent you from identifying words by sound.
Dysnemkinesia - Mainly affecting your motor skills, dysnemkinesia makes it difficult to write letters. People with this type of dyslexia often swap or mirror letters when writing.
Dysphonesia - Mainly affecting your auditory skills, dysphonesia adversely impacts how you hear, distinguish, and process speech. You may also have trouble pronouncing new words.
Both children and adults with dyslexia present similar symptoms. However, psychologists believe that there is at least one main difference between childhood and adult dyslexia: adult dyslexia can be much harder to diagnose than childhood dyslexia.
Why? Let's look at two key reasons.
Because adults with dyslexia have gone for so long without a diagnosis, they've likely developed a suite of compensatory strategies to mask their difficulties.
An adult with undiagnosed dyslexia may, for example, listen to audio recordings of books instead of reading them or write down ideas instead of relying on their memory.
Because these strategies are so effective, the people around them might not realize that they're doing so much extra work just to get by in everyday life. Unfortunately, compensatory strategies only work until they don't. Once they stop being effective, you'll have to face your dyslexia head-on.
Many adults with undiagnosed dyslexia face a great deal of stigma. This can make it harder for them to get diagnosed, as they may feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone about their reading difficulties.
Overcoming the stigma around dyslexia is essential to getting the diagnosis and support you need. But it's not always easy. Not everyone will find it easy to go against the grain, especially if they've been living with undiagnosed dyslexia for a long time.
5 Common Symptoms of Adult Dyslexia
Dyslexia can present itself differently from person to person. Generally, an adult with dyslexia will have trouble reading, writing, and spelling. Grammar and punctuation may also be a challenge. These difficulties can impact your memory, math skills, time management, and self-esteem.
Let's examine five common symptoms of adult dyslexia that you should be on the lookout for if you suspect that you might have this condition:
1. Difficulty reading accurately and fluently
This can manifest in several ways, such as taking longer to read than average, frequently losing place while reading, or having to re-read passages multiple times to understand them.
2. Mispronouncing or misspelling words
Mispronouncing or misspelling words isn't normally that big a deal but if it's a regular occurrence for you, even with words you know by heart, it could be a sign of adult dyslexia.
3. A family history of learning disorders
Having a family member with dyslexia or another learning disorder is one of the biggest risk factors for adult dyslexia. If you have one or more symptoms of dyslexia and a family member with the disorder, you may want to get tested.
4. Summarizing a story is a chore
When you are trying to summarize a story, you are essentially trying to identify the most important details and compress them into a shorter form. This can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for someone with dyslexia.
Adults with dyslexia may have trouble identifying the main points of a story, as well as recalling information from the beginning of the story. If you typically have a hard time relaying stories you heard recently, or if you find yourself getting lost in the middle of conversations, this could be a sign of adult dyslexia.
5. Consistently avoids reading
This is one of the most common symptoms of adult dyslexia, as many adults who struggle with undiagnosed dyslexia tend to avoid activities related to reading whenever possible.
If you find yourself avoiding reading, even in familiar situations, or feeling anxious or uncomfortable when you do have to read something, it may be a sign that you need to get tested.
Marker Learning is Here to Help
Do you believe you'd benefit from an adult dyslexia diagnosis? The first step should be to get a professional evaluation. This often involves meeting with a team of psychologists and learning disability experts to complete a series of tests. You receive your diagnosis and you are able to make meaningful progress
Simple enough, right?
But if you've looked into getting tested for adult dyslexia, you know how expensive a professional evaluation can be. And that's not even factoring in whether you live in an area where these services are available, or whether you can find a spot on their waitlists.
Marker Learning makes it easy by offering virtual evaluations from our licensed team of psychologists across the United States—at a quarter of the cost of standard evaluations. We'll have an accredited diagnostic report to you in just one month!
To get started, take this quiz to find out if you could be a good fit for our services. You can also give us a call anytime at 1-888-291-3587 to learn more about how we can help you get the answers you need.