2 Sep 2021 | 1 min read

Dyslexia in Adults

In most cases, dyslexia is diagnosed in adults when they were children. Therefore many dyslexia guides and articles focus on helping parents and/or children manage the symptoms. But dyslexia in adults is a very common problem – the condition often follows you into adulthood, presenting some challenges that children with dyslexia do not experience. Dyslexia in adults may result in a range of characteristics, such as memory problems, low self-esteem and high sensitivity to glare, the color of the paper or words. On the other hand, most dyslexic adults have devised strategies to work around their reading difficulties and have no trouble with vocabulary or speaking. There are three main types of dyslexia that most people with the condition have, usually at different levels. These include:

  • dysnemkinesia, involving motor skills and difficulty knowing how to shape letters when writing. People with this type often write the letters backward.
  • dysphonesia, involving listening or auditory skills. This type causes difficulty with pronouncing or understanding unfamiliar words.
  • dyseidesia, involving visual skills and difficulty or an inability to know or understand written words. It also causes difficulty knowing words by sound.

Can You Develop Dyslexia as an Adult?

In fact, yes. Sometimes children with dyslexia are not diagnosed until they become adults and then they might think that the condition has developed over time. But some dyslexia in adults change as they grow older – the normal process of ageing seems to make us mildly dyslexic, especially with dementia. It is also possible to develop dyslexic symptoms as a result of brain injury such as ear and sinus conditions, mononucleosis, whiplash, concussions and so on. The symptoms may be improved with inner-ear enhancing medications and exercises, cognitive and concentration enhancement, biofeedback etc.

How is Dyslexia Treated in Adults?

Dyslexia in adults needs to be assessed by a doctor regarding the severity. After this a treatment plan is setted up that might include:

  • occupational therapy to help work around and deal with the problems that dyslexia in adults may cause in the workplace
  • requesting instructions be spoken instead of written
  • finding methods that help learning and remembering
  • additional training in subjects or tasks that challenge or make dyslexic adults uncomfortable

Technology can also play a big part when trying to manage dyslexia as an adult. See the list below for some inspiration.

Assisitive Technology to manage Dyslexia in Adults

Dyslexia in adults can be facilitated with technical aids like

  • speech recognition software, letting users dictate or talk to a computer that converts speech to text. This technology is good for spelling or writing work reports, blog articles, emails and so on.
  • mind mapping software, perfect when it comes to dyslexic adults that wants to plan their work.
  • optical character recognition, allowing you to scan printed material into a computer or handheld unit, for example the reading pen from C-PEN.
  • OCR technology – like C-PEN ExamReader™, approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)* for use in exams (UK).

Dyslexia Self-Test for Adults

Are you unsure if you have dyslexia as an adult? Do our test below. If your answer is yes to 7 or more of these questions this may indicate dyslexia. If so we suggest that you seek consultation from specialist.

  1. Do you read slowly?
  2. Did you have trouble learning how to read when you were in school?
  3. Do you often have to read something two or three times before it makes sense?
  4. Are you uncomfortable reading out loud?
  5. Do you omit, transpose, or add letters when you are reading or writing?
  6. Do you find you still have spelling mistakes in your writing even after Spell Check?
  7. Do you find it difficult to pronounce uncommon multi-syllable words when you are reading?
  8. Do you choose to read magazines or short articles rather than longer books and novels?
  9. When you were in school, did you find it extremely difficult to learn a foreign language?