About 1 out of every 5 people has dyslexia, but most don't know it because they haven't been tested.
With the right help and support, everyone can reach their goals and do great things at school, work and in life. It's never too late.
Symptoms of Dyslexia in Adults
Dyslexia makes everyday things harder for adults, like making a shopping list, reading it at the store, helping kids with their homework, or answering work emails. Reading and writing are a big part of our daily life and jobs, so dyslexia can affect almost everything we do.
People with dyslexia, even adults, might find it hard to work with words. This can mean trouble with spelling, understanding what they read, reading smoothly, putting sentences together, and writing about big ideas.
Experts say adults with dyslexia might show these signs:
Someone in their family also had trouble learning, including dyslexia
They started talking, reading, or writing later than other kids
They read slowly and might skip small words or parts of big words when reading out loud
They find it hard to remember short forms of words or abbreviations
They don’t always understand or remember what they read
They don’t like reading and may avoid it, either by themselves or out loud
Reading can make them upset or frustrated
They don’t enjoy reading and writing
They answer questions better if someone reads to them instead of having to read by themselves
They might also have trouble with writing by hand, typing, or doing math
Trouble paying attention (ADHD)
Feeling guilty about not reading with their kids
Some strengths of people with dyslexia include:
Thinking Outside the Box: Dyslexics are great at coming up with new and creative ideas.
Seeing the Whole Picture: They are really good at understanding the big idea without getting stuck on small details.
Solving Problems: Dyslexics are awesome problem solvers because they find different ways to look at challenges.
Thinking in Pictures: Many dyslexics can think in pictures, which helps them in art, building things, and figuring out how stuff works.
Being the Boss: Their unique way of thinking can make dyslexics really good at starting their own businesses.
Understanding People: Dyslexics can be really good at knowing how others feel and what they might be thinking.
Telling Stories: They are often very good at telling stories, even if writing down words is tough.
Never Giving Up: Dealing with reading can be tough, but it makes dyslexics very strong and determined.
Spatial Awareness: Dyslexics can be really good at understanding maps and how spaces fit together, like in video games or designing buildings.
Remembering Stories: They are really good at remembering stories and things they have learned by hearing or doing.
Check out this article in Forbes for more: 13 Signs And Symptoms Of Dyslexia In Adults
In Demand Skills for the Workplace
Everything from the light bulb to the iPhone, the plane to the car, was invented by Dyslexic Thinking. And these skills are vital in shaping the future.
Do I Have Dyslexia?
First, try this free online dyslexia screener for adults from the International Dyslexia Association. It has 23 simple questions. It cannot say for sure if you have dyslexia, but it's a quick, accurate, and free way to know if you are at risk for dyslexia.
If that screener shows moderate or significant risk, or you find reading hard and it's getting in the way of school, work or life, or if you're worried about how well you can read, it's a good idea to see someone who specializes in dyslexia. They can do a full evaluation, provide an official diagnosis and help you figure out what you need to make reading easier.
Getting Tested for Dyslexia
Keep in mind that unless your school or workplace needs an official diagnosis to provide accommodations, you may not want to spend the money on a full evaluation (this can cost $1,000+). Dyslexia experts are often able to review background information, an indicators checklist, and results of the free online screener, in order to state with certainty that you do or do not have dyslexia. This is enough for some workplaces; others require a full evaluation.
We recommend that you talk with your employer and/or HR department and ask them if a full evaluation is needed and go from there.
Your doctor may be able to refer you to someone with expertise in dyslexia, such as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or Psychologist.
Assessment & Intervention Resources
Trusted providers in Nebraska
Specialized educational service providing Dyslexia and Language Evaluations,
Psychological and Academic Evaluations, Private Interventions, Speech Therapy,
Homeschool Programs and Classes, Advocacy, and Educational Training.
Phone: (402) 289-5961
2949 N 204th Street, Suite 105
A team of Speech Language Pathologists with expertise in dyslexia testing and intervention. Specialized training in Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory reading methodology and techniques.
Phone: (402) 480-3152
1550 South 70th Street, #200
Shelli's Speech Language and Reading
Speech Language Pathologist with expertise in dyslexia testing and intervention
L-M.S.CCC-SLP; ASHA certified, NSLHA member, DHHS licensure Trained in Code-based Instruction, Advanced Language Structure, Orton-Gillingham and Structured Literacy, Assessment and Evaluation
Behavioral Pediatric & Family Therapy
A group of independent psychologists providing services to children, adolescents, and adults--including dyslexia assessments.
Phone: (402) 483-1936
1520 South 70th Street, Suite 200
Lincoln, Nebraska 68506
Dyslexia In The Workplace
More and more organizations acknowledge the abilities of dyslexic people. In fact, over 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic and they specifically try to hire dyslexic people because they often have excellent 3D and spatial awareness, and superb problem-solving skills.
Adults with dyslexia don't have to tell their work or school they have it, and no one can share this info without them saying it's okay. But, telling teachers, bosses, or coworkers can be really helpful. It can lead to getting support or changes that make learning or working easier and more successful.
Employers cannot discriminate against you because you have dyslexia. By law, they must provide reasonable accommodations. If you tell your boss you have a hard time with some work tasks because of dyslexia, you can ask for changes that help you do your job better. This could mean changing how or when you work, using different tools or equipment, getting help in different ways, doing different tasks, or getting extra training. Your boss doesn't have to make these changes if they're too hard or expensive for the company.
To learn more, check out the PDF Fact Sheet from the International Dyslexia Association.