Dyslexia is a type of learning disability which affects skills involved in reading, spelling, writing or numeracy. The severity of dyslexia can vary from mild to severe. Dyslexia is not a problem with intelligence, adults of all intellectual abilities can be affected by dyslexia.

A key sign of dyslexia is difficulty sounding out words (decoding). This leads to struggling with being able to match letters to sounds so they are unable to read words accurately and fluently.

Symptoms of dyslexia are often picked up in the first two years of school, however its never too late to seek help. If you feel you might have dyslexia as an adult talk to you doctor about getting an evaluation.

Symptoms of dyslexia in adults

  • Difficulty reading and avoid reading
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty reading maps and giving directions
  • Handwriting is not neat
  • Difficulty in understanding jokes
  • Trouble memorizing
  • Trouble with understanding jokes

The sooner it is treated, the more favourable the outcome.  If left untreated dyslexic adults may struggle at work, not being able to write better reports, not able to try for promotions as they are unable to pass tests, problems filling in forms and understand and follow directions.


Adults with dyslexia may find it useful to use aids such as audiobooks, digital recorders and smart phones as then they can focus on their strengths.  Let employers and co-workers know that you are dyslexic so that they can make adjustments and invest in resources to aid adults with dyslexia.  Many people with dyslexia are highly successful, becoming experts and celebrities in their field. Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, Jennifer Anniston, Whoopi Goldberg, Albert Einstein, and Henry Ford all triumphed over their difficulties and succeeded in developing their exceptional gifts.

Whoopi Goldberg quoted on her dyslexia – She “attributes thinking differently as a factor in helping her succeed”

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Learning as much as you can about dyslexia can help with easing anxiety. It can guide you to make more informed choices.   Also meeting other adults that have dyslexia by joining an online support group can help.

Special thanks to Australian Dyslexia Association for content sharing and linking to provide further information and direction for families with any concerns.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life thinking it's stupid.”
Albert Einstein

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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].