Understanding Dyslexia

Possible Causes of Dyslexia

Researchers haven’t yet pinpointed exactly what causes dyslexia. But they do know that genes and brain differences play a role. Here are some of the possible causes of dyslexia:

  • Genes and heredity: Dyslexia often runs in families. About 40 percent of siblings of kids with dyslexia have the same reading issues. As many as 49 percent of parents of kids with dyslexia have it, too. Scientists have also found a number of genes linked to issues with reading and processing language.
  • Brain anatomy and activity: Brain imaging studies have shown brain differences between people with and without dyslexia. These differences occur in areas of the brain involved with key reading skills. Those skills are knowing how sounds are represented in words, and recognizing what written words look like.

Dive DeeperThe brain can change, however. (This concept is known as neuroplasticity.) Studies show brain activity in people with dyslexia changes after they get proper tutoring. And scientists are learning more all the time.

  • Watch a video about dyslexia and the brain.
  • Get tips on what not to say to your child about dyslexia.
  • Download lunchbox notes for kids with dyslexia.

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