Reading Disorders



Dyslexia is caused by problems with certain genes. The way the brain grows and works also plays a role.

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Risk Factors

The risk of dyslexia is higher in people who have other family members who have it.



A person may have problems:

  • Learning to speak
  • Learning letters and their sounds
  • Spelling
  • Reading and writing at grade level
  • Organizing written and spoken words
  • Learning a new language
  • Learning number facts
  • Doing math problems


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam, eye exam, and hearing test will be done. Exams may also need to be done by a learning specialist, a psychologist, or a neurologist.



There is no cure. Getting treated early can help a child learn to cope. Teachers, tutors, and learning specialists can help. Choices may be:


Remediation is a way of teaching language skills. Some methods are:

  • Teaching small amounts at a time
  • Teaching the same topics many times, also known as over-teaching
  • Using all senses to help a child learn

Compensatory Strategies

Compensatory strategies are ways to work-around the problems caused by dyslexia. Some methods are:

  • Audio taping classroom lessons, homework assignments, and texts
  • Using flashcards
  • Sitting in the front of the classroom
  • Using a computer with spelling and grammar checks
  • Having more time to complete homework or tests


There are no known methods to prevent dyslexia.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.