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Some different reasons for dyslexia

Researchers have come up with "types",  "subtypes" or "sub-components" and combinations to explain why not all people with dyslexia show the same difficulties. 


The three following are generally accepted as "subtypes" or "sub-components" and are enough to show that the phonological explanation alone is not enough. A broader approach to dealing with dyslexia is needed.

Phonological/Dysphonetic/Auditory Dyslexia 

A weakness in phonological awareness shows up as difficulty matching sounds with letters, making it hard to sound out or “decode” words.

Before matching sounds to letters, the individual must recognise that words are made up of small sound units (phonemic awareness), which can be broken down, manipulated and blended, needing good auditory processing. 

Individuals with phonological processing weaknesses benefit from explicit, systematic instruction in phonics – the current main approach in schools. 

Underactivation of brain areas 

Inefficient connections - unsynchronised

Underactivated brain connections in Dyslexia

Rapid Naming Deficit

People with this subtype struggle to recognize common words by sight, or they may learn regular words by sight quickly enough but not manage non-regular words.


They need many, many  more repetitions before they can recognize a word instantly without needing to sound it out -and they may not ever succeed without different support.

This may be because the brain

  • finds it hard to remember what the word looks like especially words that don’t sound the way they’re spelled. They have difficulty knowing where to put hyphens, capital letters and other punctuation.

  • doesn’t receive the full picture of what the eyes are seeing (poor visual processing) so they may have difficulties learning to form letters or remembering the correct letter sequences so affecting spelling

Underactivation of visual cortex, inefficient connections - unsynchronised brain function in Dyslexia
Differences in brain activity with dyslexia
Irlen Syndrome associated with Visual Dyslexia
Brain overactivation, inefficient connections, un-synchronised brain function  in visual stress
Amen CLinic Scans Differences in brain activity with visual stress

Amen Clinic Scans

Double Deficit

Many individuals struggle with both aspects of reading.

They find it harder to improve unless both sets of underlying difficulties are dealt with.

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