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How to treat dyslexia in adults?

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According to the International Dyslexia Association, ten percent of the whole population is dyslexic. Here are some of the best ways to treat it in adults.

For a person to have dyslexia, it means that they are unable to connect the phonics with the letters that make up words. Although it is seen as a learning difficulty, it has nothing to do with IQ. Furthermore, it has nothing to do with eyesight issues. When talking about dyslexia, children are the focal point, as symptoms of dyslexia start becoming obvious early on. Nevertheless, many adults get surprised when they find out they also have it in later life. So, let’s talk a bit about them and their issues, shall we?

What adults with dyslexia struggle with in their everyday lives

It’s no secret that living with a condition like dyslexia makes life harder for everyone, adults included. Like children, they are more prone to anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, and even depression. Learn more:

  • Anxiety: This is a common human response to danger that manifests in either fight, flight, or freeze reactions. Adults with dyslexia usually experience anxiety before going to work, as they know that they’ll get into nervous situations that are direct outcomes of their condition.
  • Anger: Dyslexic adults are no strangers to feeling anger. The only difference between them and dyslexic children with this learning disorder is who they target their anger towards. In the case of adults, it’s typically their co-workers, family members, and friends.
  • Self-esteem: Dyslexia and poor mental health go hand-in-hand. Namely, people with this type of learning disability will think of themselves less due to their poor reading skills, which can lead to low social skills that are at the root of their poor mental wellness.
  • Depression: Adults with this reading difficulty are prone to negative thoughts towards themselves. This leads to finding it hard to positively interpret daily experiences, which finally turns into an inability to perceive the future as something that can be good.

Dyslexia affects both private and professional aspects of life. From being unable to make proper social connections to being poor at a job, an adult with dyslexia will feel like there’s nothing they can do to turn their life around.

Symptoms and signs of adult dyslexia

The two most common dyslexia symptoms in both adults and children are:

  • Reading and solving math issues
  • Memory and time management

Dyslexics also have a problem with reading comprehension and summarization. Additionally, they can have difficulty understanding idioms and jokes. Along with these signs of dyslexia, other issues could make it difficult to go about your everyday business, and they include the following:

  • Having trouble concentrating on one activity
  • Avoiding planning-related meetings
  • Feeling overwhelmed when asked to fill out a long form
  • Overreacting to errors
  • Enforcing rigid standards
  • Learning visually
  • Being sensitive to stress
  • Poor self-esteem

Understanding the difference between ADHD and dyslexia

Although many people mistake them for one another, both dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are distinct brain conditions. Nevertheless, they can frequently cross over, as a third of those who have dyslexia also have ADHD. Additionally, having ADHD increases your risk of mental illness and learning disorders like dyslexia by six times compared to the general population. Still, having ADHD does not guarantee that you will develop dyslexia. ADHD does not result from dyslexia. Dyslexia can make it difficult for you to understand spoken and written language. On the other hand, ADHD makes you more prone to hyperactivity and hinders your ability to focus and regulate your impulses, making it harder to work around daily tasks.

Common medical treatments recommended to treat dyslexia

After a medical professional determines the issue, a dyslexia treatment strategy can consist of:

  • Occupational therapy to teach how to manage the problems that dyslexia causes at work
  • Training or tutoring to help read more fluently, which is essential for dyslexia at any age
  • Requesting reasonable accommodations from an employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Seeking spoken directions rather than written ones
  • Seeking support groups to come up with strategies to help learn and retain new material
  • Practicing in uncomfortable situations

Technology can also play a significant role in managing dyslexia, particularly for an employed adult. Here are some things that could be useful:

  • Using speech-to-text and text-to-speech applications and software to save a dyslexic from having to write or type everything
  • Recording meetings or crucial conversations to listen to again later if critical information is missed
  • Using electronic organizers to help stay on track and reduce distractions

Best nonmedical ways to support dyslexia in adults

Although medical advice for all types of dyslexia is important, there are nonmedical ways to lessen the impact of this difficulty in adults. What we’re on about are assistive technology supplements, which include various apps and programs that can make a dyslexic adult’s life much easier.

  • KAZ-Type: The program was created with assistance from the Dyslexia Research Trust and is tailored to the specific requirements of dyslexics. For them, typing is frequently simpler than writing with a pen and paper. They are guided through drills and lessons to build a strong foundation of touch-typing abilities that will make it simpler for them to perform at work.
  • Sonocet Audio Notetaker: Using a single workspace, the Sonocent Audio Notetaker records audio together with accompanying slides and text. It’s a more effective method of taking notes, especially for individuals who have trouble doing so manually. Users can classify and arrange their note sets so that they are always immediately and easily available as needed.
  • ClaroRead: ClaroRead allows its users to easily write in Google Docs, conduct research, read PDF files, and spell-check. They can utilize mind mapping to create projects, papers, and other things in addition to organizing their thoughts. Although many of its users are dyslexic, it is also widely used by individuals without any sort of learning difficulty.
  • Talking Fingers: A cutting-edge piece of software—Talking Fingers—provides a variety of activities that encourage active reading and spelling. Each segment focuses on a different ability, such as reading, typing, or writing. Although nominally for students in high school, it can be rather beneficial for adults who struggle with dyslexia and similar conditions.
  • Speechify: As the best text-to-speech app available right now, Speechify can turn any written text into natural-sounding speech. The app allows for text highlighting, which can help users follow along and practice their reading skills. Dyslexic adults who use Speechify are able to work more productively and successfully by improving reading comprehension and retention.
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.