What Are the Different Types of Dyslexia?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee
Visual dyslexia affects the way a person sees written language.
Visual dyslexia affects the way a person sees written language.

Experts believe there are several types of dyslexia that can cause varying degrees of disability in spelling, reading, writing, and even doing mathematics. Auditory dyslexia, also known as dysphonetic dyslexia, typically occurs when the person has problems connecting letters or letter combinations with their appropriate sounds. Visual dyslexia, also sometimes called dyseidetic dyslexia, usually affects the way a person sees written language.

Individuals with dyslexia may experience reading and writing difficulties.
Individuals with dyslexia may experience reading and writing difficulties.

Other types can include semantic dyslexia, which is normally defined as an impairment in the ability to understand word definitions, and neglect dyslexia, which can cause sufferers to inadvertently drop letters from the ends or beginnings of words when reading. While a person suffering from mild dyslexia may have only one of the disabilities associated with the condition, more severe kinds of dyslexia could leave a person facing more than one of these disabilities at once.

People with dyscalculia, a type of dyslexia, may have difficulty performing basic mathematics.
People with dyscalculia, a type of dyslexia, may have difficulty performing basic mathematics.

Most people with dyslexia suffer from a decreased ability to read, write, and spell. Not all types of dyslexia manifest in difficulty with language, however. Dyscalculia, a condition believed to be a kind of dyslexia, generally impairs a person's ability to comprehend numerical symbols and perform basic mathematics, even if that person's ability to comprehend more advanced mathematical ideas remains unaffected. Some people with dyslexia may also suffer from dysgraphia, which generally impairs the person's ability to write letters correctly and spell words. It is considered very possible, however, for a person to suffer from a dyslexia-related reading disability without experiencing any writing, speech, or spelling impairments.

"Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, is a popular celebrity who was diagnosed with dyslexia.
"Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, is a popular celebrity who was diagnosed with dyslexia.

Primary dyslexia, secondary dyslexia, and trauma dyslexia are believed to be the three main varieties of dyslexia that can cause these impairments. Primary dyslexia is generally considered hereditary and probably afflicts more men than women. Experts think this type of dyslexia happens because of a left-brain dysfunction. Many people with this kind of dyslexia will be able to learn to read, spell, write, and perform basic mathematics problems, but will generally never be able to progress beyond the level of a normal nine or ten-year-old child.

When working with a child with mild dyslexia, it's often helpful to treat reading as a game rather than a task.
When working with a child with mild dyslexia, it's often helpful to treat reading as a game rather than a task.

Secondary dyslexia is a type of dyslexia that is believed to occur due to problems in early childhood or even fetal development. It is also believed to affect more men than women. With specialized education techniques and training, many people with secondary dyslexia find their impairments greatly diminished by the time they reach adulthood.

Trauma dyslexia is a type of dyslexia that can affect those who suffer trauma to the reading and writing centers of the brain. It usually only occurs after an injury to the head, and is therefore usually more common in adults than in young children.

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Discussion Comments

Ceptorbi

@SimpleByte, this condition is not treated by medicines. Instead, when the child goes to school, the school develops an Individual Education Program or IEP for the child. Teachers will then try various strategies to assist the child in learning to read such as teaching the child phonics.

SimpleByte
How is dyslexia treated? Are there any medications for it?
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    • Visual dyslexia affects the way a person sees written language.
      Visual dyslexia affects the way a person sees written language.
    • Individuals with dyslexia may experience reading and writing difficulties.
      Individuals with dyslexia may experience reading and writing difficulties.
    • People with dyscalculia, a type of dyslexia, may have difficulty performing basic mathematics.
      People with dyscalculia, a type of dyslexia, may have difficulty performing basic mathematics.
    • "Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, is a popular celebrity who was diagnosed with dyslexia.
      "Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, is a popular celebrity who was diagnosed with dyslexia.
    • When working with a child with mild dyslexia, it's often helpful to treat reading as a game rather than a task.
      When working with a child with mild dyslexia, it's often helpful to treat reading as a game rather than a task.
    • Dysgraphia impairs a person's ability to read letters and spell correctly.
      Dysgraphia impairs a person's ability to read letters and spell correctly.