A photo of a young white woman reading a dictionary to represent the topic of the article - What Are The Types Of Dyslexia?

What Are The Types Of Dyslexia?

One thing I hate about dyslexia is how whenever I see it portrayed on TV or when someone talks about it, it’s always one very specific version that’s always used. However, there are many different types of dyslexia, and what’s more, each individual will be affected by their type of dyslexia in a very individualised way. Therefore, I present to you the different types of dyslexia so people can become more aware of the learning difficulty.



Dyslexia: A Learning Difficulty


If any of the different types of dyslexia rings a bell with you and your learning, reading, writing, and spelling struggles, you should get yourself tested if you can. It made a huge difference to me when I found out I was dyslexic: How Being Diagnosed With Dyslexia Changed My Life.


It should be noted that the UK refers to dyslexia as a learning difficulty and not a learning disability, whereas, from what I’ve noticed, the US refers to dyslexia as a learning disability.


Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling, as well as other abilities that aid in learning. However, unlike learning disabilities, intelligence isn’t affected (NHS), but it can hold you back if you don’t learn to adapt.


Everyone with dyslexia will have their own unique learning issues, with no two people having it expressed in the exact same way. Dyslexia can also range from being mild to severe and can be caused by several different specific weaknesses or a combination of weaknesses (Home Schooling With Dyslexia), hence the need to ask, “What are the types of dyslexia?”


Because no two sufferers will present with the exact same dyslexic needs, it can be difficult for educators to identify the best teaching solutions (Touch-type Read & Spell). However, if the right strategies can be found and utilised, then people with dyslexia can thrive.


According to the Dyslexia Center of Utah, 15-20% of the student population has a language-based learning disability, of which dyslexia is the most common, but there are others.


It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people in the UK have some form of dyslexia (NHS), and Dyslexia International states that over 700 million adults and children globally suffer from some type of dyslexia.


Unfortunately, dyslexia can run in families. Parents with dyslexia are likely to have children with dyslexia. Therefore, the sooner they can identify if their children have it, the sooner they can learn to adapt to being dyslexic (The International Dyslexia Association). That’s because dyslexia makes reading fluently difficult, affecting academic success, as well as self-esteem and social-emotional development (Dyslexia International).


I wasn’t diagnosed as being dyslexic until I started my MSc in my mid-thirties, but knowing sooner would have made the world of difference (My Life Before My Dyslexia Diagnosis). So the sooner you can get your child tested, the better.




General Dyslexia Symptoms


I won’t provide a complete list of general dyslexia symptoms, as the NHS already has a great list of general symptoms. Instead, I’ll just add a few examples. However, for a complete list of general dyslexia symptoms, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/symptoms.


Here are a few examples of general dyslexia symptoms:

Symptoms in preschoolers – Speech problems, like not being able to pronounce long words properly and “jumbling” up phrases.

Schoolchildren – Spelling that’s inconsistent and unpredictable.

Teenagers and adults – Difficulties studying for exams.


My personal favourite that makes my life with dyslexia a pain in the rear:

Dyslexic people find it difficult to recognise the different sounds that form words and relate these to letters (NHS).


I’m so bad with this that most spellchecks and even Grammarly can’t always figure out what word I’m trying to spell. If it wasn’t for Google, I wouldn’t be able to figure out the correct spelling for a lot of words. Although this can sometimes take a while as often I’m so completely wrong with how to spell a word that I have to figure it out by Googling other words that mean something similar, and then looking through the related words. Having dyslexia is so much fun.




Types Of Dyslexia


Visual dyslexia or rapid naming deficit

A person may reverse or transpose letters, have issues with finding words on a page, and be prone to skip over them (Touch-type Read & Spell).


This is the form of dyslexia that is most talked about in the media and portrayed in TV shows and films, in my experience. Because I never had an issue like this, it was the reason I doubted I was dyslexic until I talked to the student support team at my university and I finally got tested.


Surface dyslexia

This is when you have a hard time reading words that don’t follow the general rules of pronunciation. Unfortunately, the English language has a truckload of words that aren’t pronounced the way they’re spelt. Therefore, sufferers of this form of dyslexia will take longer to be able to recognise common words by sight and know they don’t follow the usual pronunciation rules (NumberDyslexia.com).


Auditory Dyslexia

This form of dyslexia causes you to have difficulty processing sounds of letters or groups of letters, and multiple sounds may be fused as a singular sound. For the most part, this form of dyslexia is a lot like phonological dyslexia. However, I stumbled across additional information associated with this version that I hadn’t seen with phonological dyslexia, so I thought I’d keep these two as separate types of dyslexia.


The following is a list of some of those differences (The Reading Well):

  • Constantly misunderstanding what others say.
  • Difficulty with hearing when background noise is present.
  • Difficulty pronouncing Ls, Rs and Ths.
  • Frequently scramble multi-syllabic words.
  • Difficulty following a series of instructions.
  • Weak auditory memory.
  • Weak comprehension of something just heard.


A picture of a polaroid photo of a young white woman reading a dictionary with the article title - What Are The Types Of Dyslexia? - wrote across the white strip on the polaroid


Perceptual dyslexia

This is when people have trouble recognising whole words, which causes slow reading (Touch-type Read & Spell).


Deep dyslexia

This form of dyslexia causes the occurrence of semantic errors, whereby you’ll read a word that says ‘street’ as saying ‘road’ instead. It can also cause visual errors whereby you’ll misread words that say ‘cone’ as ‘bone’, or derivational errors whereby you’ll read ‘play’ as ‘playing’. Supposedly, this occurs mainly due to head trauma or stroke (Numberdyslexia.com), although I’ve noticed this becoming more and more of a problem in myself as I’ve grown older.


Phonological dyslexia

This is where you have trouble breaking down the sounds of words and matching those sounds with written symbols. In short, you’ll find it hard to sound out or “decode” words. This form of dyslexia is believed to be the most common form of dyslexia (Understood).


I struggle with this one the most. Because I can’t break down how the words are meant to sound, it’s extremely difficult to figure out how words are meant to be spelt, even common words I use all the time. Another way this can express itself, for me at least, is by mixing up similar-sounding words (Nessy), something I sometimes do mid-word.


Double deficit dyslexia

It’s not uncommon to have more than one kind of dyslexia (Everyday Health). The most likely types of dyslexia to co-occur are phonological and visual dyslexia (rapid naming). However, double deficit dyslexia is the least common form, but also the hardest to compensate for (Homeschooling With Dyslexia). When I finally got tested for dyslexia, I was diagnosed with more than one dyslexia deficit.


Dyslexic dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is its own separate learning difficulty that affects a person’s ability to write. Writing that hasn’t been traced/copied, or what you could call freehand writing, is most strongly affected by dyslexic dysgraphia. This results in writing that is often illegible, which can get worse the longer they write. Spelling, either oral or written, is also extremely poor. However, drawing and copying aren’t affected (ADDitude).


My handwriting is terrible, and it gets worse the longer I write. My handwriting hasn’t changed since I was about 7 years old. It’s so bad that I can barely read it and I had to resort to writing in capitals all the time. But even then I can’t always read my handwriting. Since stumbling onto this form of dyslexia, I’ve been wondering if I had it, but so far I’ve not found a way to be tested for it.




Trauma dyslexia or acquired dyslexia

As the subheading would suggest, this type of dyslexia isn’t something you’re born with, but rather something that’s developed as a result of some sort of brain trauma/injury to the area of the brain responsible for reading and writing (Medicine Net).


That’s it. I hope you found the types of dyslexia informative. If you’re interested in reading more about my dyslexia story, you can do so by checking out: My Life Before My Dyslexia Diagnosis and How Being Diagnosed With Dyslexia Changed My Life.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences with dyslexia, learning difficulties, and learning disabilities in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, then you can make a donation of any size below as well. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.





Dyslexia Support And Further Information


Davis Dyslexia Association International – 37 Common Traits

NHS – Dyslexia Overview

British Dyslexia Association

87 thoughts on “What Are The Types Of Dyslexia?

  1. Really informative post! I had no idea that there were so many different forms of dyslexia. Personally, I’ve never struggled with learning difficulties, but I currently study psychology and we’ve started to learn about the different causes and forms. I find it so important to learn about these difficulties in order to understand and help others. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. It’s great insight! This post will surely help a lot of information seekers. Thanks for posting?

  3. Great and informative post. I have never learned more about it tbh, but this blog really picks up some key elements and brings them forth. Thanks a lot. And hope you’re doing well

  4. This is great information. My husband is dyslexic, which encouraged me to do A LOT of research along with asking him question to better understand what he personally experiences. I learned that I knew very little about what it meant to have dyslexia. I admit, prior to meeting him, I fell in the category of people who where only familiar with the one type depicted in the media. Thank you for helping to pull back the curtain and share this information with anyone interested in learning.

    • I always had a suspension I was dyslexic, when I hit my late teens, but I worked with someone who had a different presentation for there dyslexia, and due to my lack of knowledge, figured because mine wasn’t like that then I must just be stupid. Turns out, many many years later, that I actually was dyslexic.

      If you don’t know enough about something then you can easily dismiss it

  5. One of the reasons I used to struggle with English words, especially in pronunciation, is because my mother is not native to the United States. She comes from Pakistan, where the accent, especially on ‘a’s’, is different. So my
    ‘tomatoes’ and ‘can’t’s always raise eyebrows with new people.

    I love that you share the different types of dyslexia; it is so true that we might overlook something if we do not know what we are looking at.

  6. Thanks for this informative post! I never thought there’s a lot of types of dyslexia.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I feel like dyslexia isn’t really talked about with adults. I’m dyslexic as well, I have a hard time trying to follow verbal instructions or when someone is spelling somehting I can’t keep up with the letters, and often get confused between d and g or try to add an e to theend of words where it doesn’t belong!
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  8. Great post. Who knew that there were so many different forms of dyslexia? Well, you did, obviously, but I certainly didn’t and I suspect many others don’t. Thanks for enlightening me (and them)!

  9. There’s lots of great information here, thank you for sharing! I personally had no idea there were so many different forms of dyslexia, but it makes sense that it would manifest in different ways and that there would also be a severity spectrum associated with it.

    • Thank you. It does make sens that it’d be like that, but until you looked into it you often don’t make these kinds of connections, I know I didn’t before

  10. I knew there was more to dyslexia than the jumping letters things, but didn’t really know what, and didn’t know there was quite so many types.

  11. This was a great post and a really incredible resource for me! As I was reading, I made a lot of connections to my husband, who struggles with a few of these items and really jumbles up his speech sometimes. Everyone always told him that he just “goes too fast.” To this day, his parents say that. Reading this and seeing the similarities really shocked me, and we had a conversation about it and how he always just accepted that things are harder for him. I’d love for him to learn more and possibly get help. Thank you for sharing!

    • My mum made similar kind of remarks whenever I brought up the fact that I thought I was dyslexic. Even after being diagnosed, my mum still denies it. I hope your husband can now find strategies that’ll help him improve in the areas he’s been struggling int

  12. I am a certified teacher and a few years ago I had this one student, a freshman in high school, who was put into my English class. I am a special education teacher but I had a few of my own classes for kids that need extra help. This student had dyslexia but one of the things I tried to teach him was how to live with it, I guess you would say. I would ask him what he struggled with and we would find ways to conquer that. The following year he went back to a “typical” class and so much got done for him because of his dyslexia. It used to make me so angry because I felt like people were teaching him how to have a disability instead of how to live with a disability. I don’t know. I just think there are ways that every person can learn, what it is may vary and how much, but people like to learn,

  13. I wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until I was at university, and I found this post so interesting as I never realised that there were so many different types of dyslexia out there. Thanks for sharing

  14. This is such a great post, I didn’t know there were different types of dyslexia. Thank you for sharing I will use this in my professional life

  15. Wow! I had no idea that there were so many different types of dyslexia. Like you mentioned in the post, I’m so accustomed to hearing about a very narrow view of dyslexia. I’m also pretty surprised at some of the stats, like 15-20% of students having a language-based learning disability. I don’t think I expected it to be that high. Thanks for sharing all of this information!

    • After coming across dyslexia dysgraphia, I’ve been wondering how I can properly tested for that. If you don’t know about it, then you don’t know about it. Hopefully this will help people get the support they need

    • I cam across dyslexia dysgraphia of a dysgraphia site which has several forms of dysgraphia listed, so it wouldn’t surprise me if their were different subsets to dyscalculia as well, all being on a spectrum

  16. Thank you for sharing this. As a Psychology student who is interested in language this was extremely informative and another post that I will be looking back on! The links are really useful as well! 🙂

  17. This is a subject that’s very close to my heart as I assess and tutor pupils with dyslexia. Dyslexia certainly does present itself in different ways and academics are still trying to identify the specific parts of the brain affected by it. They’re getting closer and continuing to research it.

  18. I had no idea there were different types of dyslexia! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be using this post to help me better understand what my students are going through.

  19. I had no idea there were so many different types of dyslexia. That would have to be very frustrating. Another well researched and informational post!

  20. This is super interesting. I have never really had any major issues with reading, writing or comprehension when it comes to letters, words and phrases or anything spoken to me. My only issue has been numbers. Ever since I was little I would get really confused by numbers. I would read them wrong. 683 would become 368 or 836. I would do math problems and would sometimes either come up with the right answer but the work would be way off or the work would seem to be right but then the answer would be way off. When I started working in retail I would always give the wrong change back but if I counted it back to see I would get a number that was based off the total but inverted somehow. So like, if someone gave me a $10 for $5.63 and I should be giving back $4.37. I might actually see the total as $6.35 or $5.36, etc and give back $3.65 or $4.64. I still do it and it drives me nuts and I’ve always wondered if it’s a type or form of dyslexia.

    • That sounds like it could be dyscalculia, which is another learning difficulty. Try going it and see if that describes the difficulties you’re having. You should also be able to get tested for the condition

  21. Thank you for writing such a well presented post. I have done my integrated Masters in Clinical Psychology. During my course, a big chunk of my internship was spent with children with learning disabilities. Dyslexia being the most common. It always struck me how little people were aware about Dyslexia. And there was always a tendency to put all the children within the same bracket. Even though we observed so many varying symptoms in the clinical setting

  22. Informative! I have a child with dyslexia and one with dygraphia with some dyslexic tendencies. Though I was fairly certain they had it, they didn’t get an official diagnosis until they were 18!!! The neuropsychologist described my daughter’s dyslexia and learning issues as “she can put the information into a file, but then she can’t find the file again” which certainly described her! She comes across as forgetful sometimes, but she has learned lots of coping skills and is doing pretty well in college. I do a lot of editing for her. 🙂 When she was a preschooler, she used to mess up words – nail polish was always poe-nolish. We thought it was cute. Who knew it was a sign of dyslexia! And boy, did that get missed…Sigh…

    • Thanks for sharing your story. It’s great that your daughter seems to have found ways to adapt to her dyslexia and that you’re able to help out with editing, editing isn’t one of my strong suits either. Thankfully, grammarly does a lot of the heavy lifting for me. I wish you kids the best in college, it can be a struggle with dyslexia, but if they’ve got a diagnosis, then I hope they’ve been offered aids that allow them to perform at their best

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