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The relationships between Dyslexia and females

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

By DiverseMinds Research Team

Reading time 10 minutes ⏰

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – 5th Edition lists Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) with impairment in reading and/or writing (commonly known as dyslexia) as one of the most frequent neurodevelopmental disorders (2013). SLDs affect people of all ethnicities and cultures, with a prevalence rate ranging from 15% to 20%. Dyslexia is a spectrum condition, just like the other neurodevelopmental disorders. This indicates that the illness creates a range of symptoms from modest to severe impairment. Dyslexia is defined as follows by the International Dyslexia Association:

a type of learning difficulty that is caused by a neurological problem. It's marked by problems with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, as well as poor spelling and decoding skills.

These challenges are usually caused by a phonological component of language loss, which is often overlooked when compared to other cognitive talents and the delivery of successful classroom education. Problems with reading comprehension and a lack of reading experience might stifle the development of vocabulary and background knowledge as secondary repercussions.

Males have a higher frequency of dyslexia than females. Males with dyslexia are more likely to have major difficulties. Females, on the other hand, may and do have dyslexia, and data shows that females with dyslexia are more likely to experience anxiety and despair, particularly when they reach college.

Q: What is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental or learning problem in children?

The most prevalent neurodevelopmental problems we see in children are dyslexia and ADHD. Individuals with ADHD are not always dyslexic, but the majority of the youngsters we meet who have dyslexia also have ADHD.

Q: Do you think girls can suffer from dyslexia and ADHD?

Females with ADHD and dyslexia are quite common. We also discovered that they have a greater rate of anxiety and/or sadness than men. It's sometimes referred to as the "triad of symptoms" among dyslexic girls.

Q: When doctors are examining a youth with a suspected learning disability in reading comprehension, spelling, or writing, what worries do parents have?

Almost all parents indicate that their child enjoys being read to but "hates" reading alone. Girls are normally well-behaved at school, but when it comes to homework, they sometimes have meltdowns.

Q: At what age should a child be diagnosed with dyslexia?

In kindergarten or first grade, children, both male and female, can be diagnosed or at least identified as being at risk for a reading learning impairment (dyslexia). Early language issues, trouble with rhyming, difficulty acquiring information sequences such as days of the week and months of the year, and a delayed capacity to grasp sound-symbol correlations in reading are all risk indicators.

Q: Why are children with dyslexia not recognised until later in elementary school by public education systems?

First, we should probably clarify the distinction between a clinical diagnosis of Specific Learning Disorders with impairment in reading and/or written expression as defined by the DSM-5 and eligibility as a student with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) under Indiana Article 7, the law that governs special education in Indiana. Dyslexia is included in Indiana Article 7's definition of a Specific Learning Disability in Reading. A clinical diagnosis of dyslexia, on the other hand, does not always imply that a pupil qualifies for special education programmes or supports.

Q: In fact, we believe that this is the area in which obtaining special education services is the most challenging.

Second, most public schools do not screen or test students for learning impairments until they have failed to respond to therapies. When pupils are having academic issues, schools have turned to implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) programmes during the last 10 years. When a kid receives reading intervention, they may show progress in the skill that is being taught at the moment. When the intervention ends or they fail to generalise the skill(s) in their daily job, they may lose those benefits.

Q: What is the suggested course of treatment for dyslexic girls?

Diagnosis of dyslexia and other co-existing problems is the first step in intervention. Following the diagnosis, it's critical that the parents learn about the diseases that are affecting their daughter. If ADHD is evident, medication for the basic symptoms of ADHD should be considered. The impact of school-based therapies or outside tutoring for dyslexia will be low without medication. To coordinate actions and build a collaborative approach, parents are advised to communicate information regarding the diagnosis and suggestions with school officials.

Individual tutoring outside of school, employing a multi-sensory approach to phonetics, is frequently effective in addressing the underlying problems. As a kid becomes older, it's also vital to make classroom modifications and employ technology to support the child's reading and writing impairments. The usage of audio-digital books is one example of a reasonable accommodation. Learning Ally, for example, is a subscription service that distributes audio books to those with learning disabilities and dyslexia. Finally, it is critical to keep an eye on the young female's social and emotional development, as well as to watch for anxiety and sadness.

Q: What are the chances of young girls with dyslexia improving?

Excellent, in our opinion! But only if the family is aware of the factors that are generating the problems and has devised a strategy to address dyslexia and co-existing disorders. Dyslexia affects a flexible area of the brain, and suitable therapies have been demonstrated to be beneficial. This is likely to be even more true in females, who have less severe dyslexia symptoms and are more motivated to improve their performance by worry.


Hawke, J.L. (2009). Gender ratios for reading difficulties. Dyslexia, 15(3), 239-242.

Nelson, J.M. & Gregg, N. (2012). Depression and anxiety among transitioning adolescent and college students with ADHD, dyslexia, or comorbid ADHD/dyslexia. Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(3), 244-254.

Shaywitz, S. (2005). Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. New York: Random House, 2005.


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