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adult dyslexia

The Essentials On Adult Dyslexia


Dyslexia can be a very problematic condition that particularly affects a person’s daily living activities. However, it is not one of those well known conditions like cancer, AIDS, and the likes. To understand how dyslexia affects people, specifically adults, you must first understand what dyslexia is, its causes, severity, and prevalence.


What Is Dyslexia?


Dyslexia is basically a condition that presents a person’s difficulty in processing information that is usually related to short-term memory deficiency and visual coordination. If you have this condition, your short-term memory would be particularly weak. It can be either your auditory or visual memory that is affected or both. Due to this, being a dyslexic person, it would be difficult for you to learn the connection between the spoken sound and the written symbol.


It is mainly categorized to be as a learning disability, since it mainly affects the vital areas in which learning is related to. Since auditory and visual skills are needed in learning, dyslexia can make one disabled in this field.


How Severe Can One Be?


The severity and range of the condition can vary widely for dyslexic people. The main problem areas of difficulty would be reading, spelling, numeration, writing, time-keeping and personal organization. The degree of the effect on an individual can be observed from mild spelling and reading difficulties to severe problems on organization or even complete illiteracy. There are no typical cases for dyslexia, since each case can be unique from one another.




Some people do not even know that they are dyslexic; while there are a huge number of people, who are only diagnosed when they have reached adulthood already. This may be due to the unpopularity of the condition. Sometimes, it can be misdiagnosed too to be as a different condition that may present similar symptoms.


What Are The Causes?


There is no pinpointed cause of dyslexia, even though much research has been conducted to be able to explain its main cause. However, there are some researches that have gathered some relevant findings on the condition. Some neurological research suggests that a person who has this condition may have some abnormality on how his or her brain’s left hemisphere functions. This is relevant since the left hemisphere is the one that controls your lexical system.


Cognitive research, however, in the past years has mainly focused on the possibility that the cause is related to having problems with phonological awareness, which is one’s awareness of specific speech sounds in words. Additionally, there is a speculation that such problems are somewhat related to a specific portion of the brain.


Whatever the cause may be, there appears little doubt that a lot of people having literacy problems really do experience sound insensitivity in different ways. Due to this deficit, reading problems often occurs. What is also obvious is that even though the cause of the problems can be multi-causal and can be different from one person to another, they can still be the main source of intense frustration and depression for any dyslexic person.


Incidence And Prevalence


The estimated incidences of dyslexia can vary greatly every year. It is estimated that it occurs from about to 4-10% of the population. It is also believed that prevalence in males is four times greater than with females.


General Effects In Adulthood


Dyslexia is a condition that is quite hard to recognize. It is also one condition that most people who have it try to hide. Simple tasks like filling in forms, taking phone messages, or even completing timesheets can already be major problems when you have this condition.

Misleading Symptoms Of Dyslexia


Dyslexia can also have some misleading symptoms that when manifested seems to be not a condition at all. Sometimes, this kind of symptoms seems like just incidences of carelessness. However, if they happen too often, it is something that you shouldn’t overlook. So here are some of the misleading symptoms that dyslexia has.


Reluctance In Writing


When a person is reluctant in writing things down, this can sometimes be thought of as simple laziness. However, unknown to many, a simple trait like this can already be one manifestation of dyslexia. Some people, who know that they are dyslexic, try hard to cover up their condition. That is why they may seem to appear as if they are just too lazy to write. Yet, the real reason behind this is that they are having writing difficulties, due to dyslexia. In cases when a person is not yet diagnosed to have the condition, this symptom can purely appear as a lack of enthusiasm with writing.


Telephone Message Problems


When a person gets confused with telephone messages, it can appear as simple carelessness or inattentiveness. But if this kind of confusion carries on, then it is already something serious, such as dyslexia. This symptom can be a really big problem, especially if your job somewhat entails you to answer the phone and take messages, like secretaries or receptionists.


Note-taking Difficulties


Note-taking can be a tedious chore to do when you have dyslexia. This can be most especially true if you are studying or have a job that requires this skill, like waiters. The thing is, sometimes difficulty in this skill is thought of to be being plain stupidity or clumsiness, by most people. That is why it can be another misleading symptom, unless accompanied by more obvious symptoms of the condition.


Comprehending Other People


Another misleading symptom would be difficulty in following and comprehending what other people are saying to you. Most of the time, other people would simply accuse you of not attentively listening to them. What they don’t understand is that you have dyslexia, which is the cause of your difficulty in following what they say. Additionally, it is even more difficult if the speaker is talking too fast in a very noisy environment or setting.


Sequencing Difficulties


Problems in sequencing can also be experienced when you have this condition. Even simple problems such as sequencing the days of the week can already be difficult for a person with dyslexia. Other people who are not aware of the existence of this condition can sometimes label a dyslexic person to be an idiot or stupid, since such skill is expected to be mastered already, especially if you’re an adult.


Figure Or Letter Reversal


If you have dyslexia, writing can be a problem for you. You can sometimes reverse how you write the individual letters or figures. You can also reverse the sequence of how they are supposed to be positioned in a word or in a number.




Some dyslexic people can find it difficult to manage their time. However, deficiency in this skill can mislead someone to think that it is pure disorderliness, or simple personality differences.


These are some of the misleading symptoms of dyslexia. So, if you think you have these symptoms and some of the other more obvious signs of dyslexia, then be wary and try to get a consultation already.


Adult Dyslexia Awareness: Courses For The Work Place


Recently, a lot of attention has been given to the rights of people with disabilities. These rights include being able to have work, and not be discriminated by his or her colleagues. The workplace should also provide proper support for their employees’ condition, no matter what kind of disability the employee has.


One disability that may have great effect in the workplace is dyslexia. However, a lot of companies nowadays are trying their best to accommodate people with this condition into their working force. That is why they have to meet and provide for certain needs, so that employees with this condition can optimally work in the company.


Improving Your Workplace


In fact, there are special institutions that provide assistance to companies and employers in able to help out their dyslexic employees. Some specialized institutions offer courses and sessions that target the workplace’s improvement in relation to the presence of dyslexia.


The programs offered can vary, depending on the wanted outcome of the company. Each program has a different end goal, but generally they are tailored to improve the company and dyslexic employees’ relationship. Here are some of the common courses offered by some institutions for this purpose.


Professional Development Programs


Professional development should be continuous; thus, there are courses that can be taken by your company’s HR personnel, psychologists, trainers, and managers that are designed to upgrade their skills, particularly in regards to assessing dyslexia.


In this kind of program, they can learn and understand more about the said condition. The difficulties that are faced by dyslexic employees are pinpointed and discussed too. Additionally, some ways on how to make adjustments to enable your dyslexic employees to reach success and productivity are also tackled.


Workplace Awareness Programs


The awareness of your workplace about the condition of dyslexia can be invaluable to the success of your company. There are courses and briefings that can be conducted to increase the awareness of all your employees about such kind of condition.


Here, dyslexia is explained using layman’s terms, in a manner that everyone can easily understand. Your employees are also exposed on how the condition can affect an individual, along with the skills and talents that dyslexic people possess. Basically, they are familiarized to the nature of the condition.


Ways on making adjustments and overcoming problems caused by the condition in the workplace are also discussed. All of your employees are also given tips on how they should relate with an officemate that has the condition. Additionally, they are taught how to cooperate with each other.


Skill Development Programs


This kind of program is focused on the development of the skill of your dyslexic employee. Improvement tips are taught, along with strategies on how to overcome common dyslexic problems. Confidence building is also a target for the program, since most adult dyslexics are frustrated and has low self-esteem due to their condition.


The flow of the program may vary depending on the individual being trained, his or her skills and weaknesses.


Work Skills Evaluation Program


This kind of program is made to ensure that the skills of the person you are eyeing to hire appropriately meet your job requirement. Additionally, it ensures you’re your dyslexic employee can work productively and efficiently.


Here, evaluation on whether extra training is needed by the employee to improve his or her skills. Also recommendations, on whether or not your employee needs computer aid, are also done.


Adult Dyslexia And Related Conditions: Irlen Syndrome


One condition that a dyslexic person may have is the Irlen Syndrome. This condition is very much related to dyslexia since, they both have a number of similar symptoms. Additionally, a lot of dyslexics have this syndrome, along with having dyslexia itself.


From research and testing, it was found that a diversity of problems could result from seeing a distorted page of numbers, words, and musical notes. It can actually affect reading, spelling, and writing. Also, there are times that math, copying skills, music reading, driving, sports performance, ability to work on a computer, and being comfortable under fluorescent lights are also affected.


Defining Irlen


People with this syndrome perceive the printed page in a different way than those people that has normal vision. If you have this, you are obliged to constantly adapt to the distortions you are seeing on the printed page.


You can become a slow or inefficient reader because of this. Additionally, you may exhibit poor comprehension, since you don’t really understand what you are reading. You can also suffer from headaches, strain, or fatigue.


The condition can affect your attention-span, motivation, energy-level, depth-perception, handwriting, and most of all, your self-esteem. People who sufferers from this condition are sometimes labeled as underachievers that have behavioral, motivational or attitudinal problems.


This syndrome is considered to be a variable and complex condition that is often found co-existing with other learning-disabilities, such as dyslexia.


The Beginnings


The syndrome was identified first by Helen Irlen, an Educational Psychologist. This happened in the 1980’s while working in California with adult-learners. She was able to observe that a number of her students can read with better ease every time they used a colored overlay to cover the printed page they are reading.




If you are a dyslexic with this condition, you would have to undergo the patented treatment-method. Here you need to use specially formulated, colored overlays or colored lenses. You can wear these as glasses or even contact lenses. Once you use the lenses, a reduction or even elimination of perceptual-difficulties is experienced.


Their program is specifically designed to fulfill the needs of people with learning difficulties, such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and other conditions that can interfere with sufficient functioning inside the workplace, classroom, and socially.



Some symptoms of this syndrome are poor reading comprehension, reading in dim light, misreads words, skipping of words or lines, slow or hesitant manner of reading, and avoidance of reading itself.


While reading, a person with this condition can have numerous complaints like strain, fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea. A person may also seem restless and fidgety while doing the task.


In regards to writing, you can have some trouble copying words, unequal spacing between characters, uphill or downhill direction of writing, and inconsistent spelling of words.


When using the computer, you can also feel fatigue and strain. You may also experience some difficulty when reading music. Also, you often have sloppy or careless math mistakes. When you write numbers in columns, they are also misaligned.


One obvious symptom however is the syndrome’s effect on your depth perception. You are often clumsy and have difficulty with sports that involve catching balls. You may also have problems in judging distances.


Most of the time, when people with dyslexia undergo treatment, the intervention is not successful since there is an underlying presence of Irlen Syndrome. That is why getting an assessment for this condition is equally important when you have dyslexia.

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