How Does Dyslexia Affect People?

Dyslexia is the most common learning difficulty, and affects the way the brain deals with information. It can make it hard to read and write and to remember things. It has nothing to do with intelligence and does not mean a person is 'stupid'.


How common is dyslexia?

Around 10% of people in the UK have dyslexia.

How does dyslexia affect people?

People with dyslexia often have problems connecting the sounds of words to how they are written down.

Although they might be good at maths, understanding written questions and writing down answers can be hard.

Some people with dyslexia can also have problems getting thoughts into the right order, and at school they can have problems organising work and copying instructions.

Anything 'good' about dyslexia?

People with dyslexia can be much better at thinking in pictures, rather than in words, and can be good listeners.

They're often able to solve tricky problems by making connections other people don't think of.

How can I know if I have dyslexia?

The only way to know for sure is to have an assessment carried out by a specially trained teacher or an educational psychologist.

This is usually done by a series of puzzles and other tasks.

The results show how mild or severe the dyslexia is, and what kinds of things cause most difficulty.

The results of any test will normally be kept confidential.

How can I get tested for dyslexia?

If you're having problems with your schoolwork, speak to your teachers.

Tell them that you are concerned you might have dyslexia.

Your parent or guardian can also ask for you to have an assessment for dyslexia.

If they ask for one, your local education authority must give you an assessment by law,unless it considers the request unreasonable. In this case the authority would have to state why and explain what your parents can do when it does refuse.

Can I get help with schoolwork and exams?

Extra help is available to make sure people with dyslexia can get through their schoolwork and exams.

This can include extra time to do work and to finish tests and exams. You can get extra help with revision too.

You might be able to work using a computer instead of writing on a page.

Some people find it helps to make sound recordings of lessons rather than write notes.

For more information on the kind of help that's available, take a look at the young person's section of the Enquire website, or check out Dyslexia Unwrapped

I have dyslexia - what about study and work?

There's no reason people with dyslexia shouldn't have decent qualifications, jobs and careers.

Many successful people, including politicians, scientists, artists, athletes and pop-stars have overcome their dyslexia.

At college or university, people with dyslexia are entitled to extra help just like they are at school.

By law, employers can't refuse someone a job just because of their dyslexia and must make 'reasonable adjustments' to help them be in work.

Want to find out more about dyslexia?

Dyslexia Scotland has a website for young people called Dyslexia Unwrapped that has lots of useful articles and info about living with dyslexia. They cover lots of different topics such as learning how to manage your time better, how to get get more support at school or work, how to pass your driving test and other useful things!