11 Different Types of Dyslexia

With approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population suffering from dyslexia, there’s a good chance you know several people who suffer from this disorder. But did you know there are actually several different kinds of this disorder?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability which has numerous potential symptoms. Some research suggests there might be a genetic component involved. However, the disorder is treatable once properly diagnosed.

There are many potential symptoms to dyslexia, although most individuals only suffer from one. This makes treating the condition more difficult. As a result, professionals have begun using subtypes to better diagnose and treat dyslexia symptoms.

There are no official rulings on just how many types there are and some related learning disorders are not considered to be forms of dyslexia. These are the commonly accepted types we know of thus far:

See Also: 7 Different Types of Learning Styles

Types of Dyslexia

1. Double Deficit Dyslexia

We’re still trying to understand how dyslexia occurs, but we do know that it’s often accompanied by other learning disabilities. In some cases, an individual will have a second type of dyslexia.

The most common pairing is phonological and rapid naming deficit dyslexias. This particular pairing is known as double deficit dyslexia.

2. Phonological Dyslexia

This is a difficulty distinguishing and ordering sounds. Those with this condition have trouble breaking words down into individual syllables or matching sounds with written symbols. It’s perhaps the most common form of dyslexia and sometimes referred to as dysphonetic dyslexia.

Due to the disconnect of sound and symbol, it can be incredibly difficult to read even simple words out loud.

3. Rapid Automatic Naming Dyslexia

This type of dyslexia seems to be related to reading or processing speed. Those who suffer from rapid automatic naming disorder have trouble listing colors, letters, or numbers.

While able to identify one with ease, listing or reading several in a row takes more time and effort.

4. Surface Dyslexia

Sometimes referred to as visual dyslexia, this is an inability to read words that are spelled differently than they sound. This disorder is especially prevalent in the English language due to spelling constructs meant to separate English from French.

One good example is “school”, which uses a grammatical rule that any French-derived word beginning in “éc” shall instead begin with “sch” in English, but the pronunciation is actually “sk”.

Yacht is another good example of a word someone with surface dyslexia will have trouble reading. Silent letters and double vowels are also major problems for those suffering from this condition.

5. Visual Dyslexia

This is a form of surface dyslexia where individuals cannot remember or even recognize words by sight. The brain cannot store or has a difficult time in keeping the correct sequence of words as by sight. This is the type of dyslexia where people find difficulty visualizing the words.

6. Primary Dyslexia

This is a type of dyslexia which is commonly found and is genetic one. With this disorder, people face many problems, especially difficulty in identifying letters and numbers. They may also face challenges with reading, spelling, and math.


If a child has a parent with dyslexia, there’s a decent chance the child will also have a learning difficulty. It’s more prevalent in males and those who are left-handed.

7. Secondary Dyslexia

This type of dyslexia is often referred to as developmental dyslexia. With this, people find difficulty with spelling as well as in recognizing words. This type of problem is caused by brain development issues.

If the person is given proper instruction and treatment, they can be free from this dyslexia after some time, otherwise the condition can become worse.

8. Trauma Dyslexia

This type of dyslexia is also called acquired dyslexia. It is very rarely seen. This is not some type of disorder that gets inherited from family. It is mainly caused due to a traumatic brain injury.

The symptoms for this type of dyslexia can cause hearing problems due to the flu, bad cold, or any sort of infection in the ear, especially for children. With this disorder, children may find difficulty in hearing sounds, spelling, and reading. There are many kinds of activities and programs have been introduced for the people with this disorder.

9. Auditory Dyslexia

This disorder, sometimes referred to as audio dyslexia, is when individuals have difficulty with the sounding of letters, words, and groupings the letters. It’s based on auditory processing.

10. Attentional Dyslexia

This is a type of reading disorder which is commonly found today. Kids find difficulty with words by switching letters from one word to another on a page. Usually, a letter from one word gets replaced with a letter from next word. For example, “fast pass” would be read as “past fass”.

11. Deep Dyslexia

This form of dyslexia caused due to left brain problems which occur mainly due to stroke or major head trauma. With this, individuals find difficulty in reading words as they lose their reading capacity due to the problem in their brain.

Learning Disabilities Commonly Mistaken for Dyslexia

As we mentioned before, there are some disabilities that appear to be types of dyslexia on the surface which are not considered to be official subgroups of this disorder. Here are a few of the most common ones:


Sometimes erroneously referred to as “math dyslexia”, this is a common learning disability (three to six percent of children have it) which affects a person’s ability to work with numbers.

This may involve ordering, remembering, positives and negatives, carrying or borrowing, or money management. Other potential symptoms include difficulty with word problems, telling time, or understanding charts and graphs.

Children with dyslexia have a higher chance of also having dyscalculia, but it may also occur in children who have no other learning disabilities.


This is another learning disability which is often mistaken for dyslexia. People with dysgraphia have trouble writing.

The symptoms range from irregular spacing or sizing of letters and words, missing or transposed letters, or unusual spelling to completely omitting words or being completely illegible.

While this disability is language-oriented, it deals with the ability to write, as opposed to reading and may coincide with dyslexia.

Left-Right Confusion

This disability is totally unrelated to language and thus the term “directional dyslexia” is inappropriate. Instead, individuals with this condition have trouble telling left from right and may have problems reading maps or following verbal directions.

3 thoughts on “11 Different Types of Dyslexia”

  1. Thank You. I have had problems reading my whole life. Spell check cannot find the word I miss spelled. Reading the definitions I believe I would have Phonological Dyslexia and Auditory processing Dyslexia. They seem to go hand in hand. I also can not match music sounds. My speaking vocabulary is good. I use more words than I can read. I was asked to be on the Debate team in college but could not because of my reading. I completed college not reading a book but using other ways to learn. I also have a Master’s Degree. My handwriting is awful . I have partial letters and have to rewrite over and over. I also start writing in the middle of the page with the left side of the page blank. I am a mess.

    • I have found this site by accident and so glad I had, but in regards to reading your comment above had really hit home with me… The struggles one faces when dealing with Dyslexia is very real and life altering, as we are compelled in being discrete, we loose apart of ourselves in the process. Unlike any other disability, this one is kept very private!!! I myself has several forms of Dyslexia, thus affecting every aspect our culture is based on. My personal journey had been extremely difficult, but ounce I learned acceptance and the importance of embracing my differences, my personal battle subsided within. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the ability of exploring my artistic gifts and making it a lifetime endeavor. But coming out of the closet about being dyslexic was defiantly a freeing moment, it’s apart of who I am!!!

      So on that note… your gifts are plenty and you will do great things, wishing you all the best!!!
      PS. I’m still a mess, but now I have an excuse!

  2. Hello, I just found your article, which I found very interesting. My daughter is going to turn 22 years old and needs 6 credits to graduate from HS. She had an IEP since 1st grade for ADHD, later she was diagnosed with Asperger’s and with Fibromyalgia at 12 and 13 (in addition to Asthma, allergies, GI, chronic migraines, severe anxiety, and some depression). She always complained about difficulties reading, but in spite of insisting to the school district, they always denied that she would have problems with it. This is one of the main reasons why she had so many academic problems in school, as well as emotionally. It was until her Neurologist gave her the diagnosis of Dyslexia that she got accommodations for some kind of program that reads to her. Some Sp Ed. teachers have told me that there are interventions for younger children that teach them different techniques which help them for the future; now, she doesn’t have that benefit and she is at risk of not even graduating because she is running out of time. She also has problems with direction right-left and even has gotten lost due to this, and problems with reading musical notes, writing, math (which she still needs to complete). The district is proposing options that don’t really help her like tutoring pre-recorded. I already looked for some public agencies (I can’t work because I take care of her, so I can’t afford private classes or lawyers), but they don’t want to represent us. I’m so sad, frustrated, and don’t know what else to do to find help for her. She loves English, Music, and Acting. Hopefully, someone could give me some suggestions. We are in California. Thank you for addressing this important topic.


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