According to the International Dyslexia Association, it’s estimated that around 15-20% of the world’s population is dyslexic to some degree. However, how much it actually impacts people can vary widely, and some individuals may not even be aware that they have it.
In 2023, there are a lot more people getting diagnosed with dyslexia, especially adults, where their dyslexia may have gone unrecognised throughout school or within the workplace. This increased awareness worldwide and understanding of dyslexia has led to many more adults seeking assessments and diagnoses.
But why are more adults getting diagnosed with dyslexia? In this blog, we examine the main reasons for this and what this could mean for other adults that may be seeking a dyslexia diagnosis.
As more information becomes available about dyslexia, people become more aware of its signs and symptoms and seek assessments and diagnoses in adulthood. Several factors have contributed to the increased awareness of dyslexia, including advocacy, media coverage, educational policies and managers completing specialist training to help support and manage dyslexic employees and other learning difficulties.
Technology has also significantly increased our ability to assess and diagnose dyslexia, making it much easier for people to get a diagnosis.
Firstly, we now use computer-based assessments to evaluate an adult’s reading speed, accuracy, comprehension, and other cognitive skills that may be affected by dyslexia. These assessments can be more objective and precise than traditional paper-and-pencil tests and provide immediate feedback to clinicians and adults getting a diagnosis.
Secondly, online quizzes and assessments, such as the one on our website, have made it easier for adults to get a preliminary indication of whether they may have dyslexia to seek further support.
Lack of awareness within schools
Many dyslexic adults may not have been picked up as having dyslexia during their education, especially during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
During those decades, dyslexia was not well understood or widely recognised, which meant many teachers and educators did not have the knowledge or training to recognise the signs of dyslexia. Many children were deemed ‘lazy’, ‘unmotivated’ or ‘thick’ due to their reading and writing challenges.
Schools also didn’t routinely screen students for dyslexia during this period. Without proper screening, many students were dyslexia were not identified or provided with appropriate interventions.
The media has played a significant role in raising awareness about dyslexia, which has led to more adults getting diagnosed with the condition.
Through news articles, television programs, and documentaries, the media has helped to increase public understanding of what dyslexia is, how it affects individuals, and how it can be diagnosed and treated. This has led more adults to recognise the signs of dyslexia in themselves or their children.
As well as this, several famous people, including actors, athletes, and politicians, have spoken publicly about their own experiences with dyslexia. This has helped to reduce the stigma around the condition and encourage more adults to seek out assessments and support, further reducing the stigma around dyslexia.
Finally, manager training has played a pivotal role in raising awareness about dyslexia in the workplace, including the signs and symptoms and how managers can create dyslexia-friendly workplaces. This includes providing more tailored adjustments such as assistive technology and flexible work arrangements, effectively reducing the stigma. View Enna’s management training here.