Indicators of dyslexia in adults

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) which affects the way that information is processed. Dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear. It usually impacts on learning and the acquisition of literacy skills.

Every person’s experience of dyslexia is individual to them, but there are indicators that can help to identify the condition.

It’s useful to remember that although dyslexia may present challenges, there can be a positive side to the condition, such as strong visual, creative and problem-solving skills and determination.

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD). It is a lifelong condition which affects the ability to learn to read and spell. It is no indication of intelligence and it is thought that it affects up to one in every 10 people in the UK. Dyslexia can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and to help those with dyslexia be successful in the workplace.

There are other difficulties that can go alongside dyslexia, such as problems with maths, coordination and memory. Some dyslexic people experience visual stress, which can significantly affect reading ability.

In her video 'Signs you may be dyslexic' The British Dyslexia Association's Youth Ambassador Jo Crawford talks about how dyslexia affects her.

Some indications of dyslexia are:

  • Confusing visually similar words such as cat and cot
  • Difficulty telling left from right
  • The need to re-read paragraphs to understand them
  • Confusion when given several instructions at once
  • Making mistakes when taking a telephone message
  • Difficulty with managing large amounts of text and prioritising workloads
  • Difficulty organising their thoughts on paper

A full adult checklist can be found on the BDA website

A formal diagnostic assessment will confirm whether or not the difficulties you encounter are due to dyslexia. A formal diagnosis will, in turn, help you to get the right support within the education system, and in the workplace.

  • Helpful organisations

    The British Dyslexia AssociationUK national organisation that offers assessments, training, information and advice to individuals of all ages and parents, teachers and employers.

    Dyslexia ActionA national dyslexia charity with 40 years’ experience in providing support to people with literacy and numeracy difficulties, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

    Helen ArkellHelen Arkell offer dyslexia support and advice to anyone who may need it, whether they think they have dyslexia or care for someone who may have dyslexia.

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