One in ten people have dyslexia and most are unaware of it

Thursday 16 November 2023.

One in ten people have dyslexia and most are unaware of it

Thursday 16 November 2023.
Online debate.

  • Dyslexia is estimated to affect 10 % of the world’s population. It is a specific learning disorder that affects the reading process which goes far beyond confusing one letter with another and has nothing to do with a person’s intellectual ability. Those who suffer from it have difficulty learning to identify and relate speech sounds to letters and words (decoding). People with dyslexia struggle to read fluently and without errors. They may also have difficulties with reading comprehension, spelling and writing.

    For all these reasons, children with dyslexia often find it complicated to reach the different stages of literacy development as quickly and correctly as the majority of their peers. The problem lies in the fact that dyslexia is often mistaken for a lack of interest, or a delay in the reading process, which will normalise with the passage of time and the pace of learning. These aspects can lead children with the disorder to experience problems of failure at school.

    Dyslexia is a neurobiologically-based learning disability of a permanent nature. Although there is no cure, early assessment and intervention yield excellent results. Most children with dyslexia can perform well in school if they are diagnosed and have appropriate support programmes. In some cases, it is not diagnosed or identified until adulthood. The discovery of early biomarkers is crucial, since early diagnosis would allow for quicker intervention and prevent children suffering from not knowing what is happening to them.

    The team led by Dr Manuel Carreiras is developing various studies to advance in the understanding of the biological basis of dyslexia and in its early diagnosis through neuroimaging techniques. Dr Juan Luis Luque is leading an ambitious project to implement a comprehensive intervention model for learning difficulties in reading that includes dynamic assessment instruments and intervention from the pre-reading stage to adolescence. What do these initiatives entail? What progress has been made?


    • Manuel Francisco Carreiras Valiña, neuroscientist specialised in reading, and scientific director of the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain & Language (BCBL).

    • Juan Luis Luque Vilaseca, full profesor at the Faculty of Psychology and Speech Therapy at the University of Malaga (UMA) and scientific coordinator of the Leeduca research group.



    • Cristina Sáez, science and health journalist.


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