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What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a brain-based learning disability that affects how your child reads and writes. Characteristics of dyslexia include trouble associating sounds with letters and letters with sounds. This affects a child’s ability to learn to read. People with dyslexia typically have normal intelligence.

How common is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability. It affects 2 out of every 10 children.

What causes dyslexia?

Doctors do not know what causes dyslexia. Dyslexia tends to run in families.

What are the signs of dyslexia?

The most common signs of dyslexia include trouble with the following:

  • Matching sounds and letters
  • Reading aloud with the proper tone
  • Grouping words and phrases
  • Sounding out new words
  • In younger children, rhyming words

How do doctors treat dyslexia?

The most common treatment for dyslexia is a reading program that teaches phonic skills (breaking words down) and sequential skills (reading skills that build on one another).

Reading programs are offered through school or private tutors. To see if your child qualifies for reading programs at school, talk with your child’s care team or teachers.

Rev. 7/2018. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions. Reviewed by the MGfC Family Advisory Council.