What are Signs of Dyslexia in Adults?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Image By: Richard Elzey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 June 2019
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Recognizing dyslexia in adults can be a difficult task if they have grown used to hiding the disability from others or even themselves. Common signs are the avoidance of reading and writing; having above-average oral skills; and having difficulty planning, organizing, or managing their materials or tasks. Dyslexia in adults may also show itself through writing at a skill level noticeably below the affected person’s age or intelligence. People with dyslexia, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, can become extremely good at hiding the disability during their early school years, but higher education normally presents challenges wherein the person is no longer able to compensate.

Adults with dyslexia are often described as having good oral or people skills. It is believed that people develop these skills to compensate for their lack of reading and writing skills. This is not always the case and cannot solely be used to determine if an adult has dyslexia.

Dyslexia in adults can be quite hindering, leading a dyslexic adult to hold a job that does not involve reading or writing. Since a significant amount of jobs involve reading and writing, especially jobs that require more than unskilled labor, dyslexic adults may settle for jobs below their capabilities. This is usually not necessary, because with treatment and understanding coworkers, dyslexics can do almost any job they wish.


At times, adults with dyslexia may be noticeably undereducated, even if they aspire to higher education. Education is often more difficult than normal for a person who is dealing with dyslexia. Much of the modern education system stems from reading and writing, and these tasks can take a dyslexic person longer than usual. Dealing with dyslexia in the classroom setting can often feel embarrassing and drive affected people away from the environment.

A symptom often accompanying dyslexia in adults is a difficulty planning things out. Adults who are dealing with dyslexia may have difficulty organizing information and planning out tasks into the future due to the impact that dyslexia can have on a person’s ability to synthesize information. Dyslexic adults may have difficulty keeping track of and juggling many obligations and streams of information.

Dyslexia is a disability surrounded by misconceptions. People with dyslexia are typically not slow learners, lazy, or apathetic toward learning or completing tasks that involve written language solely because of their condition. In fact, people with dyslexia can be just as intelligent or more so than people without the disability. Dyslexics also rarely see numbers or words backward like many people believe. Flipping words is an uncommon symptom of dyslexia, and adults who are simply fatigued or stressed may also accidentally read a number or word backward.



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