Dyslexia Statistics and Myth Busting, Inspirational, Fun Facts

Here we've assembled dyslexia statistics, dyslexia facts and some essential myth busting knowledge you can use at cocktail parties.


  • The first description of dyslexia appeared in 1896 from Dr. W. Pringle Morgan in Sussex, England
  • The word dyslexia is derived from the Greek word ‘dys’ (meaning difficult) plus ‘lexis’ (words or language)
  • Originally dyslexia was called reading blindness
  • Today we know that dyslexia is a brain based, hereditary difficulty manipulating the sounds and letters of language

Word Wonders

  • Phonemes are the smallest units of speech sound that can convey a unique meaning - dyslexics have trouble distinguishing and manipulating them
  • English has 44 unique sounds, French 34 and German 46
  • Some dyslexics read faster and with better comprehension with larger fonts and fewer words on a line
  • With training you can listen with full comprehension to audio books played back at four times the normal rate

Dyslexia Statistics / Demographics

  • Approximately 15% of people have dyslexia
  • This equates to over  30 million adults in the United States, about 6M in the UK and 3M in Canada. Most don't know they are dyslexic!
  • Dyslexia occurs in people of all backgrounds
  • Dyslexia is found in speakers of every language and country, but rates vary
  • Men and women are equally likely to have dyslexia
  • Of those placed in special education for a learning disability, around 80% have dyslexia
  • Somewhere between 25-40% of children with dyslexia also have ADHD and approximately 25% of children with ADHD also have dyslexia

Myth Busters

  • Dyslexia is not a disease
  • Dyslexia and IQ are not directly related
  • Dyslexia in not just about getting letters or numbers mixed up or out of order
  • Dyslexia has nothing to do with not working hard enough
  • Math dyslexia and directional dyslexia are not dyslexia at all but are often associated with dyslexia

Strange but True

  • Inability to tie shoe laces, difficulty reading a clock with hands and early childhood ear infections are all reliable predictors of dyslexia
  • Dyslexics have terrible trouble rhyming and therefore there are few dyslexic hip hop artists
  • Dyslexia is mainly an auditory processing problem
  • Adult onset of dyslexia is possible after a stroke or because of Alzheimer's disease
  • An 80 year old reading system is still among the best
  • The best way for a dyslexic to read may be with their ears

Hope and Inspiration

  • With appropriate teaching methods, dyslexics can successfully learn anything
  • Assistive technology is opening all all kinds of doors to literacy and learning. Audito books and text to speech are two important ones
  • Dyslexics often excel at connecting ideas, thinking out of the box, 3D thinking, and seeing the big picture
  • People with dyslexia are often gifted in areas of art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales and sports
  • This makes some sense because dyslexics use their right brain more than average, and the right brain is associated with art, emotion, spatial relationships, intuition and synthesizing of ideas.
  • There are over 100 schools for dyslexic students in the United States, over 25 in the UK and at least 6 in Canada

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