Can dyslexia be cured?

Dyslexia is not a disease, so it can't be 'cured'. Dyslexics simply have different brains that find reading difficult, just as some of us find piano playing difficult.

However our society places such great emphasis on reading and spelling that dyslexia can undoubtedly present problems - most of which stem from others' lack of recognition and understanding.

Yet many dyslexics (some of them featured on our site case studies), have exceptional 'holistic' visuospatial skills and they value the gifts which their dyslexia has given them, and so do some employers who understand the talents that dyslexics can offer.

There are many job opportunities for dyslexics, particularly because the recent development of computer and film technologies has created a huge demand for programming, artistic and graphic design skills. One well-known architect's practice prefers to employ dyslexic people because of their unusual spatial awareness and lateral thinking abilities.

Simple treatments, such as yellow or blue filter glasses which can help any visual problems can often help dyslexics improve their reading. In addition, auditory training, or targeting the underlying biological causes of dyslexia, for example by improved nutrition, particularly with omega 3 fish oils can help greatly.

Be wary of people offering treatments, or even 'cures', for dyslexia for a large, up-front fee. These may or may not help. Their programmes are frequently based on little or no scientific research, or involve treatments (such as nutritional supplements, coloured overlays, exercises or intensive reading programs), which you can do yourself much more cheaply.

Although awareness of dyslexia is much higher than it was, it can still go unrecognised, with the result that the child can be stigmatised and accused of stupidity and laziness.

This, of course, can destroy a child's self-confidence and lead to depression and misery, whereas knowing if s/he is dyslexic can often be a huge relief because she now understands why she has been having such difficulties, and feels more confident that she can be helped.