Dyslexia is generally used as an umbrella term to cover not only problems with reading, writing, and spelling - but also many other related learning disability categories, such as:
- Dyslexia - difficulties with reading, comprehension, spelling, and creative writing.
- ADD or ADHD - problems related to focus, organization, time-management, and hyperactivity.
- Dyspraxia - problems related to clumsiness, co-ordination, and hand-writing.
- Dyscalculia or Acalculia - difficulty with maths or an inability to use numbers.
- Dysgraphia or Agraphia - difficulty with hand-writing or an inability to write.
- Dysorthography - a specific dysgraphic disorder of spelling that accompanies dyslexia by a direct consequence of the phonological disorder.
- Dysphasia - language disorder marked by a deficiency in the generation of speech, and sometimes also in its comprehension.
- Poor working memory - difficulty following instructions or completing complicated tasks.
- Auditory Processing Disorder - problems with listening or distinguishing sounds in language.
Having learning disabilities means that each individual will present with a different set of problems and there usually are overlaps of labels and conditions:
- Employed in a job that hides difficulties in reading, writing, or spelling.
- Hides difficulties from co-workers, friends, and sometimes family.
- Becomes frustrated at "planning meetings" and sequential tasks; just wants to get on with it.
- Becomes frustrated or overwhelmed with long forms or sequential processes.
- Thrives in careers where visual-spatial/hands-on talents can be realized, for example, business owner, engineer, trades (carpentry, plumbing, electrical), interior decorator, actor, musician, police/investigation, athlete, and business executive (usually with staff or assistant).
- May pass up promotions or advancement opportunities that require more administrative work.
- May have difficulty focusing and staying on one task, yet may feel comfortable managing many different tasks simultaneously.
- Difficulty with tests - passing standard tests can be a barrier to career advancement.
- Highly successful, overachiever.
- May be a perfectionist and overreact when a mistake is made.
- Outside-the-box thinker.
- Very controlling and operates according to very strict rules.
- Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.
- Highly intuitive, known to have "street smarts". Is often quick and accurate in judging the personalities of others.
- May be able to sense the emotions and energy of others.
- Remembers struggling in school.
- May have dyslexic children and may experience guilt when seeing their own child struggle. May be embarrassed when reading to own children or helping them with homework.
- Easily distracted/annoyed by noises and other things in the environment.
- May appear to "zone out" and be unaware that it is happening.
- Mis-speaks, misuse, or mispronounces words without realizing it.
- May have poor balance.
- May confuse past conversations or be accused of "not listening".
- Difficulty remembering names of people without tricks, but usually remembers faces.
- Difficulty remembering verbal instructions or directions. Likes to see them visually.
- May have poor recall of conversations or sequence of events.
Maths, Time Management, and Directions
- May be able to perform high-level maths, but can't show it on paper.
- May excel at maths, or may still rely on tricks for remembering math facts.
- Relies on calculators or finger counting.
- When paying may prefer to use "plastic" instead of cash to avoid dealing with loose change.
- May have difficulty with left/right and/or North, South, East, West.
- May have difficulty reading maps.
- May have anxiety or stress when driving in unfamiliar places. Relies on others to drive when possible.
- May lose track of time and is often late, or is compulsively early.
- Finds it difficult to estimate how long a task will take to complete.
Reading, Writing, and Spelling
- Likes larger, clear print over unusual fonts.
- Avoids reading out loud. May dislike public speaking.
- Has adopted compensatory tricks to remember spelling and words that sound the same (their, there, they're), or has poor or inconsistent spelling.
- Frequently has to re-read a sentence in order to understand it.
- Gets tired or becomes bored quickly while reading.
- Relies on others (assistants, spouses, significant others) for written correspondence.
- Uncertainty with words, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Reliance on spell-check and grammar-check.
- Poor handwriting; poor or inconsistent spelling.
- Writes with all capital letters, or mixes capital letters within words. Abbreviates words frequently.
Behavior, Health, and Personality
- May have a short fuse or is easily frustrated, angered, or annoyed.
- Easily stressed and overwhelmed in certain situations.
- May have low self-esteem.
- Self-conscious when speaking in a group. May have difficulty getting thoughts out, pause frequently, speaks in halting phrases or leave sentences incomplete. This may worsen with stress or distraction.
- Sticks to what they know; fear of new tasks or any situation where they are out of comfort zone.
- Extremely disorderly, often losing and mislaying things.
- Compulsively orderly, getting stressed when order is disturbed.
- Confusion, stress, physical health issues, time pressure, and fatigue will significantly increase symptoms.