About Reading Disability

What is a reading disability?

Reading disabilities occur in individuals who are neurologically different from other people and, as a result, process language differently. Because this difference in processing affects language in particular, people with reading disabilities are able to read significantly less easily than their intelligence would otherwise suggest. Reading disabilities tend to run in families and appear to be largely genetic. Approximately 1 in 5 people has a reading disability.

Dyslexia accounts for 80% of all cases of reading disability, but reading disabilities come in a variety of forms. Also, reading disabilities often occur with a secondary disability. You can learn more about the types of learning disabilities from the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Signs of a reading disability

People with a reading disability often:

  • mispronounce words
  • omit words while reading
  • dislike reading
  • ignore punctuation when reading and writing
  • read word by word, choppily

People with a reading disability find it difficult to:

  • break words into syllables
  • sound out words and hear the word they sounded out
  • decode words and understand letter patterns and vowel rules
  • break words into phonemes
  • rhyme
  • connect letters and sounds
  • recognize the same word from page to page
  • read fluently, smoothly
  • comprehend what they read
  • focus when reading