Dyslexia Statistics: Is Dyslexia A Big Problem?
There is not a lot of information readily available on dyslexia statistics, but through some careful extrapolation of other statistics, there are some startling conclusions that can be drawn.
It is important to note, that with dyslexia, there is a wide baseline. It is estimated that between 5% and 15% of all people in North America have some form of dyslexia. That may not look like a very wide range, but when you factor in the US population being a little over 300 million people, that is a difference of 15 to 45 million people with the disorder. For argument's sake, this article will use the mean of that statistic and we will estimate 30 million people have dyslexia in varying degrees. To further put this into perspective, that is roughly the population of Texas and Tennessee-or five times the population of Wisconsin.
Compared to other known neurological conditions in the United States, statistics indicate that the rate of dyslexia in the US population is higher than autism (2 million) and ADHD combined (27 million). Yet, it seems like dyslexia awareness is not proportionate to these numbers and does not receive the research funding that is warranted by these statistics.
This is telling, as a little under 50% of all parents wait for a year or more to have their child tested for dyslexia. That is one more year of frustration, heartbreak and isolation felt by a child who could benefit from a proper diagnosis and treatment. Dyslexia statistics show that roughly 40% of boys and 20% of girls with a dyslexic parent have dyslexia. This information is not generally known to parents. Factor in a parent who themselves were not diagnosed and this becomes critical information for everyone.
Further complicating identification of children with dyslexia is emerging evidence that suggests 20% to 55% of dyslexics also suffer from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as well. Treating one will not solve the other, but often these children receive treatment for ADHD only, as it more easily identified.
The hardest thing about compiling dyslexia statistics is simply that all the available resources are scattered and not really compared to other disorders. It's not so much that no one cares, it's mainly that there are no real obvious signs of dyslexia. Dyslexia isn't 'glamorous' or even noticeable in the child until they begin to read, write or do simple arithmetic. Even then it's easier to make assumptions or throw them into a generalized learning disability program. No one sends a blind child to a school for the deaf-why would anyone assume sending a child with dyslexia to a class specializing in other disorders is acceptable?
About the author: To learn more about dyslexia statistics, visit Dee Henry's website at http://www.dyslexiahealth.com/ where you can buy her outstanding book on dyslexia facts you should know and subscribe to her free email course on the subject.