Do you suspect that your child has a reading problem? Keep reading to learn about the different types of reading disabilities and what you can do to help your child.

Helping your child read is a large part of helping them achieve success in their lifetime. Without strong reading skills, it can be difficult for them to advance in their education.

There are different types of reading disabilities that can cause difficulties for your child to learn to read and to understand what they are reading.

What Are The Different Types of Reading Disabilities?

A reading disability is when someone struggles to understand the text and context of the words they read.  Most of the time, these reading disabilities develop due to a difference in how the brain processes the written word.

You may notice your child has these problems from a young age. Even though that is the norm, it is possible that a person could develop a reading problem because of an injury to their brain.

Keep in mind that people that have reading disabilities do not all have the same problems. Even having one of the problems constitutes that they have a reading disability.

If your child has a reading disability, they might have some other disability as well, such as having problems with numbers. It is wise to keep an eye out.


Hyperlexia is when a child can read at levels beyond their age. “Hyper” means better than, and “lexia” means reading. These children can understand the sound, but they might not be able to understand what they are reading.

Children that have hyperlexia have communications and speaking skills that are lacking for kids their age. While they can read well, they are not gifted readers. In fact, they have below-average communication skills and are not able to take away from much from their reading session.

Hyperlexia can occur as a stand-alone diagnosis, or alongside other diagnoses such as autism or ADHD.  Different papers have determined that there are multiple types of hyperlexia.  

For example, Darold Treffert proses there are three types:

  • Type 1: Neurotypical children who are very early readers.
  • Type 2: Autistic children who demonstrate very early reading as a splinter skill.
  • Type 3: Very early readers who are not on the autism spectrum. They exhibit some “autistic-like” traits and behaviors which gradually fade as the child gets older.

No matter how hyperlexia affects your child, there are tons of great ways you can help your child thrive. When teaching a child with hyperlexia, there are strategies that are very helpful. These strategies include using:

  • Visual Organizers
  • Social Stories
  • Comic Strips
  • Picture Walks


Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read. It causes an inability to identify speed sounds and figuring out how they relate to letters and words. Dyslexia affects the parts in your child’s brain the processes language.

Dyslexia can cause cognitive issues such as difficulty memorizing, difficulty spelling, or difficulty thinking and understanding. The developmental effects can be a learning disability or speech delay. It is also common to have delayed reading ability, headache, or even speech impairment.

Most children that are dealing with dyslexia can do well in school with a specialized education program. It is also essential that you, as a parent, are emotionally supportive as they work their way through their learning journey.

You can click here to see some special education options in case you can’t get the help you need, and you need legal help.

Your child may learn differently, but that does not mean they will never learn to read. You should also know that there are a lot of ways for your child to learn.

Allowing them to listen to audiobooks instead of reading books can be helpful when they need to do a lot of learning. Letting them type on a computer or a tablet can help.

You can also help kids keep on track when they are reading by putting a ruler under the line of the words they are supposed to focus on. There are even apps that will help children with dyslexia fight through their reading problems.

When to Get Help

If you are not sure if your child has a reading disability, there are things you can do.  If you are noticing possible signs, it is time to have a conversation with your child’s doctor.

There is nothing wrong with finding out that your child does not have a reading disability, but they need a little extra attention. On the other hand, if you do find out your child has a reading disability, you can get them the help they need to succeed.

Hyperlexia and dyslexia are two of the well-known types of reading disabilities, but there are a lot of other things that could play into their abilities to read or not. Discussing your concerns with your child’s doctor will enable you to provide the child with the resources they need.  

Moving Forward with Different Types of Reading Disabilities

Having a clear understanding of what is happening with your child will help you make important decisions for your child.

If you are still struggling with what to do for your child that has reading disabilities, you may want to do further research. Our site has more articles on this topic and many others that can help you.

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