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Guide to Dyslexia

Understanding Dyslexia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Learn about the signs, symptoms, and causes of dyslexia, as well as treatment options available to help individuals with this neurobehavioral condition.

Dyslexia is a neurobehavioral condition that affects an individual's ability to read, write, and spell. It is a common condition that affects up to 10% of the population, but it is often misunderstood. In this article, we will explore the signs and symptoms of dyslexia, the causes of the condition, and the treatment options available to help individuals with dyslexia.

Signs & symptoms

The signs and symptoms of dyslexia can vary widely, but common indicators include difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling. Individuals with dyslexia may also have difficulty with phonological processing, which is the ability to break down words into their individual sounds. Other signs may include difficulty with rhyming, mixing up letters in words, and difficulty with reading comprehension.

Causes of Dyslexia

The exact causes of dyslexia are not fully understood, but research suggests that it may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Studies have shown that dyslexia runs in families, and certain genes have been linked to the development of the condition. Additionally, prenatal exposure to certain toxins, such as alcohol and lead, has been linked to an increased risk of dyslexia.

Treatment options

There is no cure for dyslexia, but there are a variety of treatment options available to help individuals manage the condition. These may include:

  • Educational therapy: This type of therapy is designed to help individuals with dyslexia learn to read and write more effectively.
  • Medications: There are no medications specifically designed to treat dyslexia, but some individuals with the condition may benefit from medications to help with attention or memory.
  • Assistive technology: There are a variety of assistive technology tools available, such as text-to-speech software, that can help individuals with dyslexia read and write more easily.

Getting tested

If you or someone you know is showing signs of dyslexia, it is important to get a proper diagnosis. This can be done through a variety of testing methods, such as neuropsychological assessments, reading assessments, and educational evaluations. If you think you may have dyslexia, it is important to speak with a doctor or a specialist in learning disorders.

Dyslexia FAQs

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects reading and language skills. It is characterized by difficulty with decoding, reading fluency, and comprehension.

What causes dyslexia?

The exact cause of dyslexia is not known, but it is believed to be related to differences in the brain's structure and function. Research suggests that dyslexia may be inherited and may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

How is dyslexia diagnosed?

Dyslexia is usually diagnosed by a combination of assessments, including a thorough history and physical examination, a neuropsychological and language evaluation, and a reading assessment. The pediatric and adult neuropsychologists at STLCCH are skilled both in diagnosing this condition as well as providing detailed recommendations for accommodations and interventions if necessary.

Can dyslexia be treated?

Yes, dyslexia can be treated with a combination of interventions, including specialized instruction, tutoring, and assistive technology. Multisensory teaching methods and structured literacy programs have been shown to be effective in improving reading skills in individuals with dyslexia.

Is dyslexia a lifelong condition?

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition, but with early identification and appropriate intervention, individuals with dyslexia can learn to read and achieve success in school and in life.

No, dyslexia is not related to intelligence. Individuals with dyslexia can have a wide range of intelligence levels, from above average to below average.

Is dyslexia the same as a learning disability?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects reading and language skills, whereas a learning disability is a general term used to describe a wide range of difficulties with learning.

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