International Dyslexia Association: “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (Lyon et al., 2003, p. 2).”
According to Shaywitz & Shaywitz (2003), one of the main hallmarks of dyslexia in otherwise high achieving and competent students is laborious and slow writing and reading. Additionally, dyslexia has been shown to be both familial and heritable and is not dependent on or resulting from deficient IQ.
Long Term Effects
Dyslexia has been known to cause a variety of effects as a child moves through the educational system and into adulthood. According to findings by Kalka and Lockiewicz (2018) university students with dyslexia can experience lower levels of resiliency and satisfaction when in pursuit of a goal. Students with dyslexia in the study reported that at educational institutions where they receive less emotional support, they felt more emotionally isolated and unaccepted by their peers (Kalka and Lockiewicz 2018). A study conducted by Moody et al. (2000) investigated dyslexia and illiteracy rates in Texas prisons and found that dyslexia was disproportionately higher within the prison than in the general population. The study indicated that not receiving appropriate intervention for dyslexia can lead to increased life difficulties which could eventually lead to imprisonment; however, it is important to note that this is not a causal relationship, but one which everyone should be aware of (Moody et al. 2000).
Our hope in providing dyslexia intervention is to give the tools needed to remain resilient through challenges so clients can work toward and successfully meet their goals.
Quick Facts and Statistics
70-80% of people with poor reading skills are likely dyslexic
Dyslexia affects one in five students, or 15 to 20% of the general population, and at least 80% of individuals with learning disabilities
Dyslexia is not tied to IQ
Dyslexia is not just about getting letters or numbers mixed up or out of order
Dyslexia has nothing to do with not working hard enough
Dyslexia is the most common of the language-based learning disabilities
Dyslexia runs in families; parents with dyslexia are very likely to have children with dyslexia
Dyslexics may struggle with organizational skills, planning and prioritizing, keeping time, concentrating with background noise.
Dyslexia affects boys and girls at nearly similar rates
Dyslexia affects people from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds at nearly similar rates
Although it is estimated that somewhere between 5 and 17% of children in the United States have dyslexia, only 4.5% of students in United States public schools are diagnosed with a specific learning disability (SLD), an umbrella term which includes dyslexia, among other learning disabilities, indicating that students with dyslexia are going under-identified at alarming rates
Percentages of children at risk for reading failure are much higher in high poverty, language-minority populations who attend ineffective schools
In minority and high poverty schools, 70-80% of children have inadequate reading skills
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 38% of all fourth-grade students are “below basic” reading skills
Nationwide 20% of the elementary school population is struggling with reading
80% of children with an individualized education plan (IEP) have reading difficulty and 85% of those are dyslexic
30% of children with dyslexia also have at least a mild form of AD/HD
35% of all individuals with dyslexia drop out of high school
Over 40% of all adolescents involved in drug and alcohol rehabilitation have dyslexia
60% or more of individuals with reading disabilities have behavior problems, such as juvenile delinquency
Approximately 80% of prison inmates are reported to be functionally illiterate
With appropriate teaching methods, dyslexia can learn successfully
Many people with dyslexia are extremely gifted; they might struggle with reading, but thrive in other areas
Over 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic
35% of entrepreneurs have dyslexia
40% of all self-made millionaires have dyslexia
Dyslexis may excel at connecting ideas, thinking out of the box, 3D thinking, seeing the big picture
People with dyslexia excel or are even gifted in areas of art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales and sports
Many famous people are dyslexic including: Orlando Bloom, Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Spielberg, Kiera Knightley, Albert Einstein, and Patrick Dempsey
It’s estimated that over 40 million Americans adults are dyslexic, but sadly, only 2 million are aware of their disorder.
National Center for Education statistics, 5% of all adults are “non-literate”
20-25% of all adults can only read at the lowest level
References: Al-Lamki, L. (2012). Dyslexia: Its impact on the individual, parents and society. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J, 12(3), 269-272. American Dyslexia Association Child Mind Institute Dyslexia Center Dyslexia Foundation Gellert, A., & Elbro, C. (1999). Reading disabilities, behavior problems and delinquency: A review. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 43, 131-155. Hanford, E. (Host). (2017, September 11). Hard to read: How American schools fail kids with dyslexia. [Audio podcast episode]. In APM Reports. https://www.apmreports.org/episode/2017/09 /11/hard to-read International Dyslexia Association Kalka, D., & Lockiewicz, M. (2018). Happiness, Life Satisfaction, Resiliency and Social Support in Students with Dyslexia. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, 65(5), 493–508. https://doi-org.libpublic3.library.isu.edu/10.1080/1034912X.2017.1411582 Lakshmi, P.B., Rao, S., Nishanth, A., Prasanth, B., & Babu, N. (2019). Dyslexia awareness among school teachers. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, 10(11), 2865-2868. Logan, J. (2009). Dyslexic Entrepreneurs: The incidence; their coping strategies and their business skills. Dyslexia, 15, 328-346. Lyon, G., Shaywitz, S., & Shaywitz, B. (2003). A definition of dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 53(1), 1-14. Retrieved July 22, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23764731 Malpas, M.D. (2017). Self-fulfilment with dyslexia: A blueprint for success. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Moody, K.C., Holzer, C.E., Roman, M.J., Paulsen, K.A., Freeman, D.H., Haynes, M., & James, T.N. (2000). Prevalence of dyslexia among Texas prison inmates. Texas Medicine, 96, 69-75. Shaywitz, S., & Shaywitz, B. (2003). Dyslexia (Specific Reading Disability). Pediatrics in Review, 24(5), 147-152. DOI: 10.1542/pir.24-5-147 Tanaka, H., Black, J.M., Hulme, C., Stanley, L.M., Kesler, S.R., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Reiss, A.L., Gabrieli, J.D.E., & Hoeft, F. (2011). The brain basis of the phonological deficit in dyslexia is independent of IQ. Psychological Science, 22, 1442-1451. Washburn, E. K., Malatesha Joshi, R., & Binks Cantrell, E. (2011). Are preservice teachers prepared to teach struggling readers? The International Dyslexia Association, 61, 21-43. DOI: 10.1007/s11881-010-0040-y Yates, R. (2012). Bad mouthing, bad habits and bad, bad, boys: An exploration of the relationship between dyslexia and drug dependence. Mental Health and Substance Use, 6, 184-202.