10 Important Things Parents Need to Know About Dyslexia

As a “hidden” disability, most of us miss out on the signs of our kids having dyslexia which makes it harder for them to study.

Some parents have become quite adept at noticing certain symptoms of developmental disabilities like Autism and ADHD because of the visible social components (e.g. missing out on jokes, taking a while to process sarcasm). But those with dyslexia don’t have that. Although they have social flexibility and adaptiveness, their disability appears more in reading. They often go undiagnosed for the majority of their lives, leaving people to label them as “slow” or “incompetent” because they perceive language differently, visual-wise and audio-wise.

To further understand this disability, we’ve summed it up to these ten important points.

Important Things Parents Need to Know About Dyslexia

1. In some cases, dyslexia may show more in boys than girls

Because of differing brain structures, dyslexia has a higher prevalence in boys than girls (Bianan and Santos, 2020; Yang, Li, Li, Zhai, An, Zhang, Zhou, and Weng, 2022). The way dyslexia also shows may be more gender exclusive — boys have a harder time reading which may be caused by their lower impulse control in comparison to girls (Hier, 1979; Arnett, Pennington, Peterson, Willcutt, DeFries, and Olson, 2017; Kafnick, 2019) which is why dyslexia may show more.

However, some studies revealed gender doesn’t affect dyslexia’s main symptom which is the struggle in reading comprehension (Rosales, 2020). What may influence this, however, most especially in the Philippines, is the need to be bilingual — which means that they may have a different learning pathway than the typical (San Jose, 2012; Tong, Vasudevamurthy, Lentejas, Zhang, and An, 2023).

2. Those with dyslexia have an “accommodating” learning style

The accommodating learning style is another word for being “hands-on” or more “kinetic” in their learning. They prefer something multi-sensory so that they can associate other things to the task besides the words (Bianan and Santos, 2020; Yang, Li, Li, Zhai, An, Zhang, Zhou, and Weng, 2022). Colors, shapes, textures, smells, and tastes are their preferred learning because they engage different parts of the brain that’s also associated with emotions.

3. Some languages may be easier to learn, depending on the requirements

There are just some languages that are easier to learn because of what they emphasize (Tong, Vasudevamurthy, Lentejas, Zhang, and An, 2023). English requires people to be more aware of the blends and the sounds they make like “ba” and “da” which can be difficult for those who have dyslexia. Chinese and Japanese, on the other hand, demand more awareness of how the word looks and what accents to apply. But some languages like Spanish may be easier, depending on the deficit involved (Jimenéz, Rodríguez, and Ramírez, 2009).

4. Dyslexia causes more distress than we see!

Because of its “hidden” nature, most of those diagnosed with dyslexia deal with the frustration of making people understand (Mather, White, and Youman, 2020; Rosales, 2020). Being the most aware of their flaws sometimes leads them to depressive episodes, often ending up in moments known as “self-fulfilling prophecies” because of the difficulty in comprehension and reading (San Jose, 2012). Unlike autism where there is a struggle to catch non-verbal social cues, those with dyslexia are more conscious of their drawbacks which makes them more prone to mood disorders like bipolar, anxiety, and depression in the form of learned helplessness (Schulte-Korn, 2010; Sako, 2016).

5. Some with dyslexia actually do enjoy reading!

Despite the difficulties, those with dyslexia do enjoy a good book or two. When teachers invest in their students with dyslexia, they often base it on their initial symptoms, recommend books, and then, help them develop coping mechanisms to further their love for reading. They “push themselves to the limit” and discover more ways to enjoy reading or sounds (San Jose, 2012; Gepila Jr., Macalalad, Requiron, Balisado, and Rosales, 2022). When kids are diagnosed with dyslexia, they enjoy some couplet poetry books since they repeat certain sounds over and over again.

6. Dyslexia does have levels: mild, moderate, and severe

Those with mild dyslexia often go undiagnosed, leading to fulfilling careers. Some of them even get by despite the heavy reading and writing required, oftentimes using voice-based apps to assist them in writing or processing languages. Some speech therapists even use other forms of sign language to connect the sounds with movement which is why they may have certain mannerisms. It’s their way of associating the proper sounds to avoid miscommunications (Livingston, Siegel, and Ribary, 2018).

7. Dyslexics can have a unique combination of symptoms

Although there is a general set of symptoms for those with dyslexia, the combinations can differ per person. Some may only have the visual issue but there are others who struggle in processing sound. Then, there are those who have both. It’s why many dyslexics appear bright, eloquent, and charismatic in spite of their struggle in writing (San Jose, 2012; Bianan and Santos, 2020).

8. Dyslexia, like most developmental disabilities, has a genetic component

Similar to ADHD and Autism, kids can inherit dyslexia from their parents. Although some studies reveal that the parents’ performance in their spelling tests and reading comprehension exams can predict it, there are still some environmental factors that can influence their abilities as readers and writers (Yang, Li, Li, Zhai, An, Zhang, Zhou, and Weng, 2022).

9. There are currently no pharmaceutical treatments for dyslexia

When a person with dyslexia takes medicine, it’s usually to address a disorder that’s running alongside it. Some of these disorders include ADHD wherein doctors would advise a diet change and possibly some medicine to support the diet change. But before getting these kids medication, make sure that none of the medicines clash with each other. Some medicines for psychiatric disorders, when combined, can produce unexpected effects.

Instead, parents bring their kids to speech pathologists who diagnose which part of the disorder they have if it’s purely visual (reading), sound processing (auditory), or both (Schulte-Korn, 2010; Sako, 2016; Arnett, Pennington, Peterson, Willcutt, DeFries, and Olson, 2017; Kafnick, 2019).

10. Common symptoms include not just comprehension but speed

When kids have dyslexia, they have a hard time reading with letters flipping around or sounds coming out the same. It’s why comprehension can’t be the only component because there is such a disorder known as “language delay.” Although still considered a disorder, it’s not so debilitating that kids cannot live a full life. Some parents simply put their kids through therapy or engage them with more books so they can catch up with their peers.

Important Things Parents Need to Know About Dyslexia

When kids struggle to read, it’s not your fault!

As parents, it’s easy to succumb to our feelings of frustration and helplessness especially when we subconsciously start comparing our kids to other kids. However, every kid is different; some have a farther starting line in one but are far behind in the other. But that’s why schools are now being more stringent in training their teachers to be more aware of these signs so interventions can be done. Dyslexia is one of those delays that may look like they need disciplinary action but are deeper and more complex than that.


Arnett, A. B., Pennington, B. F., Peterson, R. L., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., & Olson, R. K. (2017). Explaining the sex difference in dyslexia. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry58(6), 719-727.

Bianan, D. R., & Santos, P. G. D. (2020). Personality Types and Learning Styles of Children with Dyslexia in San Carlos City Division. Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies3(1).

Gepila Jr, E. C., Macalalad, J. S. S., Requiron Jr, E. M., Balisado, J. C. F., & Rosales, M. J. D. (2022). Contextualizing Davis Dyslexia Correction Program to Filipino Youth Dyslexics. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education14(5).

Hier, D. B. (1979). Sex differences in hemispheric specialization: hypothesis for the excess of dyslexia in boys. Bulletin of the Orton Society29(1), 74-83.

Jiménez, J. E., Rodríguez, C., & Ramírez, G. (2009). Spanish developmental dyslexia: Prevalence, cognitive profile, and home literacy experiences. Journal of experimental child psychology103(2), 167-185.

Krafnick, A. J., & Evans, T. M. (2019). Neurobiological sex differences in developmental dyslexia. Frontiers in psychology9, 2669.

Livingston, E. M., Siegel, L. S., & Ribary, U. (2018). Developmental dyslexia: Emotional impact and consequences. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties23(2), 107-135.

Mather, N., White, J., & Youman, M. (2020). Dyslexia Around the World: A Snapshot. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal25(1).

Rosales, S. (2020). Seeing the ‘hidden’disability: A quantitative analysis of the reading comprehension in English of learners suspected with dyslexia. Asian EFL Journal27(4.4), 448-477.

Sako, E. (2016). The emotional and social effects of dyslexia. European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies2(2), 175-183.

San Jose, A. E. (2012). Linguistic experiences of adult dyslexic learners. UIC Research Journal18(1), 1-1.

Schulte-Körne, G. (2010). The prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dyslexia. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International107(41), 718.

Tong, S. X., Vasudevamurthy, A., Lentejas, K., Zhang, P., & An, N. (2023). How Brain-Based Research Can Rewire Education for Bi/Multilingual Children with Special Educational Needs in Hong Kong, India, and the Philippines. In International Handbook on Education Development in Asia-Pacific (pp. 1-29). Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore.

Yang, L., Li, C., Li, X., Zhai, M., An, Q., Zhang, Y., Zhou, J., & Weng, X. (2022). Prevalence of developmental dyslexia in primary school children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Brain Sciences12(2), 240.

More about kids and developmental delays?

10 Things Parents Must Know About Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
10 Things About ADHD That Parents Need to Know
Adulting With ADHD or Autism: Coping in the Typical World

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