Frequently Asked Questions

This section contains answers to frequently asked questions.

Does dyslexia really exist?
In the past, dyslexia has sometimes been referred to as something that was made up by the middle classes to explain why their children were unsuccessful at school. However, there is now a wide body of clinical and academic knowledge which confirms that dyslexia is indeed a real phenomenon. The problem now lies in defining the limits of dyslexia and it is becoming increasingly obvious that the term dyslexia covers a number of different learning difficulties.

How many people have dyslexia?
About 10% of the population has some form of dyslexia, although most will have it in a mild form. About 4% of society has a more severe version of dyslexia which can have a serious impact on their life. Dyslexia affects more males than females, with 75% of dyslexics being male.

Why has dyslexia suddenly become so prevalent in society?
Dyslexia has not become more prevalent, it is just that our society has changed to make it harder for dyslexics to operate. As our society becomes more literate, dyslexics increasingly have problems dealing with education and work. Also, we now know more about dyslexia and how to diagnose it, so many more people than previously are now being shown to be dyslexic.

Is dyslexia a disability?
The answer to this is yes and no. Dyslexia is considered a disability under government legislation, as it can cause learning and other difficulties for those who have it. But many people prefer to think of dyslexia as a difference, as dyslexia can have just as many beneficial effects as negative ones.

Can dyslexia be cured?
No there is no cure for dyslexia. But dyslexia is not a disease, so to talk about curing it is taking the wrong approach. Instead we should look at ways dyslexics can compensate for their dyslexia, develop coping and management strategies, and emphasising the good aspects of their dyslexia.

Is dyslexia hereditary?
It is becoming increasingly likely that dyslexia is genetically based and passed from parents to children. Often dyslexia affects many people in the same family and most dyslexics will generally have someone else in their wider family who also have dyslexia. However, people can also get “acquired dyslexia” from a bad head injury or other source such as drug addiction.

Where can I get an assessment for dyslexia in Scotland?
Please click here to go to our Dyslexia Assessment page.