Is Dyslexia More Common in Autistic People?

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Dyslexia is a disorder that makes it difficult for people to read, spell and write. It’s characterized by letters or words appearing backwards, jumbled or blended together. A new study found dyslexia was more common in autistic children than their non-autistic counterparts.

Dyslexia is a condition that affects the way people read. People with autism are more likely to have dyslexia than those without autism.


Dyslexia is a learning disability that is the most prevalent diagnosis in the United States among all learning impairments. Because dyslexia is a prevalent disorder in the general community, it’s not surprising that persons with autism acquire it at the same rate as their neurotypical counterparts.

Autism, dyslexia, and other neurodevelopmental diseases have several similarities, notably the fact that none of them have a cure. There are various excellent treatment options available, and symptoms of the illnesses may be decreased.

The diagnosis of autism is most likely to come initially. Screen your kid for co-occurring problems like dyslexia with the help of your child’s physician and behavior therapist.

Is There A Link Between Dyslexia And Autism?

Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to read. Reading entails converting connecting letters and combinations of letters into spoken sounds, arranging them correctly, and linking the ordered sounds through words, phrases, and paragraphs.

People with dyslexia have trouble grasping this process, having trouble connecting letters on a page to words they understand. Because they have trouble with syllables or phonemes, they have trouble with phonological processing. The remainder of the reading process becomes harder as a result of this.

This is a widespread disorder that affects around 20% of the American population and accounts for between 80% and 90% of persons with learning impairments.

Dyslexia is sometimes defined as an unexpected reading issue in a youngster who is otherwise intelligent and academically competent. Dyslexics are often brilliant thinkers with great reasoning abilities.

Although there is no cure for dyslexia, counseling may be quite beneficial. Your kid may do better in school and in their jobs if they get the correct help.

Children with autism may also have dyslexia, however it may be difficult to identify depending on the degree of the autism.

Similarities Between Autism & Dyslexia

Because dyslexia and autism are linked to how the brain processes information, it’s not uncommon for persons with autism to also have dyslexia.

Although there may be some overlap between autism and dyslexia, the two conditions are distinct and unrelated. Autism is a developmental disease, while dyslexia is a learning impairment that encompasses a variety of learning difficulties.

The following are examples of overlap between cognitive difficulties like dyslexia and developmental issues like autism:

  • Both offer therapeutic options, but neither has a cure.
  • Both of these disorders are permanent.
  • Both have an influence on an individual’s life and make some aspects of societal functioning more difficult.
  • For both, early discovery and treatment are critical.

Both have emotional and behavioral challenges, such as:

Starting about the age of four, neurotypical children begin learning about phonemes and the fundamentals of reading in preschool. Early elementary school is where the reading process fully starts, which is why many dyslexic children are discovered around the age of six. This means students may use unique reading systems and learn how to consume textbooks in new ways, such as by listening to audiobooks or reading with specific typefaces.

Youngsters with autism are no more likely than their neurotypical classmates to have dyslexia, although dyslexia may be difficult to identify in children on the autism spectrum.

Children on the autism spectrum are often early readers and may acquire hyperlexia, a condition in which they learn to read without being taught at a young age. Children on the autism spectrum, on the other hand, may have poor reading comprehension abilities, so they may be able to read a book or magazine fast and correctly but forget what they read.

Hyperlexia necessitates a different treatment method, requiring the kid to slow down and concentrate more on what they are reading in order to memorize the information on the page.

Declarative Memory: The Potential Link Between Autism & Dyslexia

Declarative memory has been shown to be a key component in five different kinds of neurodevelopmental disorders. This is a sort of memory that use facts or events that may be explicitly “announced” and retrieved. It’s not the same as procedural memory, which requires bodily awareness.

The following are the five neurodevelopmental diseases that are linked:

  • ASD (autism spectrum disease) is a (ASD).
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a kind of obsessive-compul (OCD).
  • Dyslexia.
  • Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder.
  • Language impediment that is specific (SLI).

According to a 2015 study, compensating using declarative memory helped patients with these five problems, which overlap in some ways, to deal with social circumstances. They were able to do so by learning specialized scripts for various circumstances, regulating tics and compulsions, and devising techniques to overcome learning difficulties such as reading difficulties.

Declarative memory is adaptable, enabling it to create a variety of coping mechanisms under stressful conditions. These may aid in the development of coping methods for circumstances that the individual does not comprehend, and this might include difficulties in persons with moderate autistic symptoms. According to this research, declarative memory-based behavioral treatment may be more effective than other types of therapy.

Autism and Other Co-occurring Disorders

Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are known to be comorbid. Dyslexia and ADHD are often seen together.

A major difficulty for youngsters with dyslexia is that they misunderstand spoken language, which might mimic mild autistic symptoms, according to one research. Children with dyslexia and those on the autistic spectrum often interpret words literally and have no comprehension of metaphors. If you order them to run in one place, they could start checking around the floor for a location that has been painted on.

Autism and ADHD are often associated with other linguistic difficulties. Dyscalculia is a problem with numbers and arithmetic, whereas dyspraxia is a problem with planning and processing motor tasks such as walking or dancing.

Autism is the most probable of these diseases to be identified initially. Around the age of two, children begin to show variances in their capacity to speak, interact, and learn, which a doctor will observe. These early signs are often noticed by parents and brought to the attention of the doctor.

Once you’ve found a qualified behavior therapist, they’ll be able to collaborate with your child’s medical staff to detect and diagnose comorbid disorders. These therapists will know how to assess your kid for learning impairments such as dyslexia or even hyperlexia at various ages. You can get your kid the therapy he or she needs after you have a thorough diagnosis.

Children with autism and dyslexia may make significant progress in treatment. Children may develop into healthy, successful adults with early intervention and thorough care. Parental support, as well as effective behavioral and educational therapy, are critical to this development.


What Is Dyslexia? (2017). The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.

Parents want assistance in recognizing dyslexia in their autistic child. (Updated November 2013). Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about

Autism is linked to a variety of conditions (January 2020). Psych Central is a website dedicated to mental health.

How to Tell the Difference Between Autism and a Learning Disability (In January of 2020) ADDitude.

Declarative Memory: Definitions & Examples. (February 2014). Live Science.

Autism, OCD, and dyslexia seem to be compensated for by a brain system. (Updated February 2015). Science Daily is a news site dedicated to science.

Autism, Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Co-Occur: Children with Symptoms of Autism, Dyslexia, and ADHD. (May of 2012) IntechOpen.

Visual Illusions: A Fun Way to Learn About Developmental Dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder (In April of 2016). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience is a journal dedicated to the study of the human brain.

Dyslexia is a language-processing disorder that affects how people read, write, spell, and speak. It is more common in autistic people than in neurotypical people. Reference: dyslexia and autism symptoms.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is dyslexia linked to autism?

A: Dyslexia is actually linked to autism, not the other way around. Autism occurs when neural wiring in a childs brain does not create enough connections for him or her to grasp language as it would be typically learned and spoken.

Related Tags

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