What Is the Connection between Dyslexia and Memory?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 January 2019
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Dyslexia and memory problems are believed to be interconnected, to the point where some experts think that the problems associated with dyslexia may in fact result from a poor working memory. People without dyslexia typically rely on their working memories to help them remember how words are spelled, particularly long words and irregularly spelled words in English. When reading, speaking, or writing, a good working memory is generally very important to remembering how to spell words, string words together to form sentences, and understand the meaning of sentences. Dyslexia and memory problems associated with it mean that people who suffer from this condition can have problems keeping track of things and staying organized. They can easily forget things they hear and see.

Many words in the English language can be spelled phonetically. Dyslexia and memory problems are typically associated with one another, because children with dyslexia usually have problems remembering which phonetic sound goes with which word. There are also many words in the English language that have silent letters and counter-intuitive spellings. Children without dyslexia can more easily learn to spell these words from memory. Dyslexia and memory problems associated with dyslexia make it difficult for those with this condition to remember words from sight.


Those who suffer from dyslexia generally have problems spelling words, reading, and writing. It is believed that they must struggle harder to assimilate information than people without the condition. They can have trouble associating the sounds of letters with the letters themselves. They may often get similar-sounding letters or words confused with one another.

Reading can go slowly for people with dyslexia, since they may often struggle to remember how the sounds in a word, or the words in a sentence, link up. They may accidentally skip over words or phrases while reading, and can lose their place frequently. When writing, they may inadvertently substitute a similar-sounding letter for the correct letter, or leave out words altogether. Similar-sounding words may be easily confused.

Dyslexia and memory problems associated with it can mean that people with dyslexia have trouble staying organized. They may frequently misplace or lose things. They can often have problems remembering things they hear, such as directions. The memory problems associated with dyslexia can mean that people with this condition may struggle with an appropriate concept of time. They can lose track of time very easily, miss appointments, or be frequently late.



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