Dyslexia in adults

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Dyslexia on June 27, 2022
Dyslexia is often diagnosed in early childhood, but its effects change in adults. Learn more about challenges adults with dyslexia face.

    Dyslexia has many unpleasant consequences for children. It can prevent them from getting high grades at school and from bonding with their peers.

    However, you can’t grow out of dyslexia, which is why adults face similar problems. They might not perform great in the workplace or communicate appropriately.

    The good news is that you can alleviate your symptoms. You first need to understand dyslexia in adults.

    Signs of dyslexia

    Dyslexia is a neurocognitive learning disability that keeps people from interpreting phonological (sound) elements of language. The disorder affects about 20% of all adults.

    Here are the most common signs of dyslexia:

    • Reading difficulties with unknown fonts
    • Reluctance to read out loud due to fear of public speaking
    • The sufferer mispronounces words
    • Perception that you read better silently
    • Poor time management
    • Compensatory tricks for improved spelling
    • Reading comprehension and fluency fluctuate (depending on the subject matter)
    • Re-reading sentences frequently to understand them
    • Fatigue when reading
    • Math problems (when combined with dyscalculia)
    • Relying on others or spell check apps for writing and verbal instructions
    • Uncertainty with punctuation, spelling, and words
    • Poor handwriting

    What dyslexia affects as an adult

    There are several types of dyslexia, but they have similar effects on adults.

    For instance, one of the biggest problems dyslexics face is troublesome and inconsistent spelling. You may spell certain words correctly today but make a mistake tomorrow.

    Poor spelling can lead to various problems, such as undermined confidence. They can also reduce fluency in your mother tongue and foreign languages.

    Another common issue of adult dyslexia is that it leads to poor handwriting. The reason is simple – people with this disorder have difficulty writing neatly because they’re distracted by spelling issues.

    It gets even worse if dyslexia co-exists with dyspraxia (a disorder that inhibits proper coordination and movement). This condition can cause pain when holding a pen to further hinder your handwriting.

    Adult dyslexia also manifests in struggles with serifs. These decorative fonts distract sufferers from standard shapes, affecting their comprehension.

    For this reason, a medical professional may recommend printing and creating documents in sans-serif fonts. They help address many phonological concerns, such as impaired word recognition and decoding.

    Mental health for adult dyslexics

    Dyslexia doesn’t just reflect on workplace performance. It can also influence mental health, primarily through anxiety.

    Anxiety can recur across the board or in response to specific situations. For example, children can suffer from fits in exams or during reading tasks. They have to perform independently, but dyslexia stops them from doing so. This usually results in anxiety attacks.

    The same goes for adults. They experience anxiety when reading an unfamiliar word or when they have to think quickly. This makes it hard to read, lowers processing speed, and inhibits the ability to tell right from left. Therefore, driving tests and other similar tasks can easily trigger anxious responses.

    Depression is also common in dyslexics. While these are two different conditions, dyslexia often puts people in a negative mood. If the feeling persists, it aggravates the symptoms of depression.

    Dyslexia can be detrimental in many other ways. As you consider yourself less capable than others, you often find yourself feeling isolated, frustrated, and discouraged.

    If you don’t lift your spirits, dyslexia can result in low self-esteem. As mentioned, young people fall behind their peers or perform poorly in high school. Adults believe they’re not meant to do great things or will never fit in with their co-workers.

    If you notice any of these symptoms, visit a mental health care specialist as soon as possible.

    Helpful resources for dyslexics

    You can consult many resources to cope with your dyslexia and achieve your full potential:

    • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – The website contains lots of information about dyslexia and other language disabilities. It’s also where audiologists and pathologists can be contacted, allowing you to find professionals in your area.
    • Headstrong Nation – This is a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of dyslexic adults. Their purpose is to create an environment where dyslexics will thrive.
    • International Dyslexia Association (IDA) – This is another non-profit organization that helps dyslexic persons and their families. Their web page contains a bookstore with valuable information on this reading and learning difficulty.
    • LD Online – LD Online offers updates on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and other conditions. It features numerous forums and articles.
    • National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) – This online resource wants to ensure every adult with dyslexia can succeed at work and in life.
    • Neuhaus Education Center – You can help tackle your reading problems by consulting this non-profit organization. They offer evidence-based resources for sufferers and their families. There are also systematic teaching methods to alleviate writing, spelling, and reading troubles in learners of different ages.

    Text to speech technology is incredibly useful too. Numerous apps read words aloud, allowing you to see how they’re spelled. This is especially helpful if you have limited time to read the provided materials or struggle to pronounce unfamiliar words.

    Additionally, text to speech platforms enable you to focus on your content and not the action of reading, resulting in better understanding. This feature makes you more likely to retain new information and increases your confidence.

    Use Speechify’s text to speech technology to help with adult dyslexia

    If you’re looking for a user-friendly text to speech app, look no further than Speechify. Our AI-powered platform is specifically designed to help dyslexics understand written content, so they can move on to other tasks more quickly.

    Speechify has countless features to address your dyslexia symptoms. You can take pictures of any page or document, and the software reads it aloud while highlighting certain words. Coupled with natural-sounding voices, this gives you practical exercises to combat this reading disability and enhance your workplace performance.

    Contact us to find out more about how you can benefit from Speechify.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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