Girls and dyslexia

Diane Montgomery writes.

I have noticed that girls with ASD are now more frequently identified. As there are some such girls in my family, I wish this had come sooner. Most recently, the nature of girls’ ADHD has been identified and will prove helpful to so many. I think the time has also come for the nature of dyslexic girls’ condition to be discussed and investigated further.

For example:

  • My dyslexic pre-service and in-service teachers often only discovered that a dyslexic condition had hampered their academic progress when following our courses on learning difficulties.
  • Case study records of over 200 dyslexics referred to a local specialist remedial centre (1997) showed that girls were referred a year later than boys, and in a ratio of five boys to one girl and with more severe difficulties.
  • More recent research on spelling and writing in 2007, 2017 and 2018 showed that the ratio of dyslexic boys to girls was three to two and there were a number of reasons for this.

Dyslexia is considered an unexpected difficulty in learning to read and spell despite normal classroom teaching methods and general ability. Because girls are initially better at learning to read than boys their needs can be overlooked, and they miss out on extra support because their condition does not seem so severe. But their serious problems with spelling will quickly find them. Unfortunately, the necessary interventions are not widely used.

Diane Montgomery, CPsychol
Professor Emerita, Middlesex University

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