Understanding Dyslexia

Other Issues That Can Co-Occur With Dyslexia

Many kids have more than one learning and attention issue. There are a number of issues that often co-occur with dyslexia. There are also issues that have symptoms that can look like dyslexia symptoms. That’s why testing for dyslexia should be part of a full evaluation that looks at all areas of learning.


ADHD
can make it difficult to stay focused during reading and other activities. Roughly 40 percent of students with ADHD also have dyslexia. But kids with dyslexia may fidget or act out in class because of frustration over reading, not ADHD.Here are some issues that often co-occur with or may be mistaken for dyslexia:

  • Executive functioning issues can affect different skills and areas of learning. Executive functions include organization, flexible thinking, and working memory.Learn how executive functioning issues can impact reading.
  • Slow processing speed can impact reading, as well as many other areas of learning. Kids who struggle with processing speed are slower to take in, process and respond to information. That can make it harder to master basic reading skills and get the meaning of what they’ve read.Learn more about how slow processing speed impacts learning.
  • Auditory processing disorder (APD) affects a child’s ability to sort through the sounds she hears. This can make reading difficult. Kids with APD often have trouble recognizing the difference between letter sounds and sounding out new words.Learn about the difference between dyslexia and APD.
  • Visual processing issues make it hard to process what the eyes see. Kids with visual processing issues may complain of blurry vision or of letters “hopping around on the page.” They may try to compensate by squinting or closing one eye. They often reverse letters when writing and struggle to stay within the lines.Learn about the difference between dyslexia and visual processing issues.
  • Dysgraphia can affect a child’s ability to spell and to form letters and numbers. It can also make it hard to organize thoughts on paper. Many kids with dysgraphia also have dyslexia.Learn about the difference between dyslexia and dysgraphia.
  • Dyscalculia makes it hard to do math. Many kids have serious difficulties in both reading and math and may have dyscalculia in addition to dyslexia. Trouble learning to count is associated with both.Learn about the difference between dyslexia and dyscalculia.

Dive Deeper

  • Find out how to help kids work through math word problems.
  • Download free multisensory tools to help kids with reading and writing.
  • See a list of children’s books that feature characters with dyslexia and ADHD.

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