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Dyslexia: Symptoms and Causes

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Dyslexia occurs in people of all intelligence levels and from all walks of life. It is not related to a person’s level of education or motivation to learn. Some common symptoms of dyslexia include difficulty with phonemic awareness, poor spelling skills, and difficulty with word decoding. Symptoms of dyslexia usually start showing up during childhood or early adolescence, but they can sometimes go unnoticed until adulthood.

The exact cause of dyslexia is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are various treatments for dyslexia, including tutoring, accommodations in the classroom, and medication therapy. Many resources are available to help people with dyslexia learn how to read and write effectively. With the right help, most people with dyslexia can lead successful lives.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that affects reading and writing skills. It can cause reading aloud, reading comprehension, and word recognition problems. Dyslexia is characterized by movement problems or poor hand and eye-coordination. It is the most common learning disability and can impact children and adults. 

Studies have shown that people with dyslexia symptoms often have difficulty processing phonemes. Phonemes are the smallest units of sound in a language. For example, the word “cat” is made up of three phonemes: /k/, /æ/, and /t/. People with dyslexia often have trouble distinguishing between similar-sounding phonemes. This difficulty leads to problems with reading, spelling, and pronunciation.

What is dyslexia?

What are dyslexia statistics? Dyslexia occurs in approximately 5 to 17 percent of the population. It is four times more common in boys than girls. Most people are not formally diagnosed until they reach school age. Early diagnosis and intervention are important for people with dyslexia. Most people with dyslexia can learn to read and write effectively with proper support.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia

The symptoms of dyslexia can also vary depending on a person’s age. Children with dyslexia may have difficulty learning to read and write. They may also have trouble with spelling, pronunciation, and math. Adults with dyslexia often struggle with reading comprehension, writing, and pronouncing words. They may also have trouble with time management and organization.

What are the signs and symptoms of dyslexia

The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Some people with dyslexia only have minor difficulties, while others have significant challenges that interfere with everyday life. The first symptoms of dyslexia (regardless of age) are significant because they indicate that the development of the deviation has started. So, what does dyslexia look like? If you notice five or more of these signs, we recommend that you do not delay consulting a specialist:

  • Clumsy grip of a pen (or other writing instruments);
  • Problems with attention and concentration;
  • Bad memory;
  • Changes in letter order when composing words;
  • Difficulties in the simplest orientation (left-right, upward, and downward, etc.);
  • Problems with following elementary instructions;
  • Difficulties in learning the alphabet and multiplication tables;
  • Refusal to read aloud and write essays;
  • Troubles in mastering spelling and reading principles.

Types of Dyslexia

There are three main types of dyslexia: phonological, surface, and rapid automatized naming. Phonological dyslexia impacts an individual’s ability to break down words into smaller units of sound (phonemes). Surface dyslexia occurs when an individual has difficulty recognizing visually similar words (e.g., “bat” and “cat”). Rapid automatized naming dyslexia refers to difficulty recalling the correct order of letters or numbers when presented in rapid succession.

Phonological Type 

This type of dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with phonemic awareness and phonology. It can impact reading, spelling, and speaking skills. Individuals with phonological dyslexia have difficulty understanding the relationship between letters and sounds and often have a problem breaking words down into individual sounds or phonemes. Other challenges may include difficulty with rhyming words, associating letters with the correct sounds, and correctly pronouncing words. As a result, they may have trouble reading words that are not familiar to them. Phonological dyslexia is the most common type of dyslexia. It is estimated to account for 55-65% of all cases of dyslexia.

Surface Type 

Surface dyslexia is a type in which individuals struggle with phonetic decoding skills. This means they have trouble mapping letters to sounds and often confuse similar-sounding words. This type of dyslexia can sometimes be remediated with intensive phonetic training. These difficulties can lead to problems with reading fluency and comprehension.

Rapid Automatized Naming Type

Individuals with RAN have difficulty naming objects quickly and accurately. This can make it hard to read aloud or follow a conversation. RAN is often diagnosed in early childhood, as children with this type of dyslexia may have trouble learning the alphabet or being able to read quickly. However, adults experience difficulty with reading comprehension or speed. 

What are the Causes of Dyslexia?

Dyslexia can be caused by various things:

  • Genetic predisposition: If you have a family member with dyslexia, you may be more likely to develop this condition.
  • Brain structure or a head injury: Differences in how the brain is structured or functions may contribute to dyslexia.
  • Severe infections such as meningitis.
  • Labor disorders: Premature placenta detachment or fetal asphyxia.
  • Complications during pregnancy associated with infections (measles, herpes, rubella) or the use of toxic substances (drugs, alcohol, smoking).
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors (such as lead exposure) may increase the risk of developing dyslexia.

What are the causes of dyslexia

Additionally, some research suggests that dyslexia may be associated with brain structure or function changes. Neuroimaging techniques such as MRI are the most popular methods for investigating dyslexia type. With their help of them, scientists were able to prove that deviations cause neurobiological causes. In people with dyslexia, the area of the posterior part of the left middle temporal gyrus is less active. 

Social factors are considered no less vital. For example, excessive teaching loads, pedagogical neglect, a dysfunctional environment, or a lack of communication are aspects that cause dyslexia and exacerbate a person’s condition.

Make an Appointment at Lone Star Neurology Doctors to Avoid Complications

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to minimize the potentially devastating effects of the condition. If left untreated, dyslexia can significantly impact every aspect of an individual’s life. One of the most significant dangers is that individuals are at a much higher risk for academic failure. In addition to educational difficulties, people are susceptible to developing mental health problems. It can also lead to social isolation, as individuals with this disorder may have difficulty making and maintaining friendships. Finally, it can also cause problems in the workplace, as individuals with the condition, may have trouble keeping up with the demands of their job.

If you think you or your child may have dyslexia symptoms, getting diagnosed and treated as soon as possible is significant. Our Lone Star Neurology specialists can help create a treatment plan that works for you.


  • What deficiency causes dyslexia?

Some of the most common causes of dyslexia include problems with phonemic awareness, phonology, and word decoding skills. Additionally, dyslexia can also be caused by deficits in some regions of the brain that are responsible for language processing.

  • What is the most severe form of dyslexia?

Double deficit dyslexia is the most severe form of dyslexia. The symptoms include trouble naming words quickly when asked to recall them and phonological awareness issues.

  • What is a person with dyslexia good at?

People with dyslexia are often good at creative endeavors, such as industrial and graphic design, painting, and sculpting. While dyslexia can make traditional school subjects such as reading and spelling difficult, people with dyslexia often have above-average intelligence and can learn to compensate for their weaknesses.

  • At what age can you spot dyslexia?

Dyslexia is generally thought to be a lifelong condition. Different people may exhibit different signs and symptoms of dyslexia at different ages.  

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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