Adult Dyslexics

On average most dyslexics will present with at least 10 of the following traits or charactersitics:


  • Employed in job/position that will hide difficulties or not require dealing with problematic areas.
  • May hide difficulties from co-workers, friends and even family.
  • Can become frustrated at “planning meetings” and sequential tasks – may have the answer and know how to do it well before others.
  • Becomes frustrated, impatient, or overwhelmed with long forms or sequential processes.
  • Thrives in careers where visual-spatial/kinaesthetic talents can be realised: For example – Entrepreneurs, Engineers, Trades (carpentry, plumbing, electrical), Artisans, Interior Decorating, Actors, Musicians, Police/Investigation, Athletes, and Business Executives (usually with staff/assistants). NASA actively seeks to employ dyslexics.
  • May pass up promotions or advancement opportunities that would require more administrative work.
  • Has difficulty focussing and staying on task – may feel more comfortable managing many different tasks simultaneously.
  • Difficulty with tests – passing standardised tests can be a barrier to career advancement.
  • Highly successful/over achiever, or considered “not working up to potential.”
  • Displays extreme work ethic.
  • May be a perfectionist, which can mean tasks take longer to complete, and overreact when making a mistake.
  • Out-of-the-box thinker or operates with very strict rules for himself/herself.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.


  • Highly intuitive – known to have “street smarts.” Is often “dead on” in judging personalities of others.
  • May be able to sense emotions and energy of others.
  • Remembers struggling in school.
  • May have dyslexic children. Experiences guilt when seeing own child struggle. Insecurities arise while reading to own children or helping them with homework; or may never have read aloud to their own children.
  • Easily distracted/annoyed by noises and other things in environment.
  • May appear to “zone out” and be unaware that it is hapvpening.
  • Enjoys video games.
  • Misspeaks, misuses, or mispronounces words without realising it.
  • May have poor balance or is/was very athletic.
  • May have excellent recall of events that were experienced or not remember at all.
  • May confuse past conversations or be accused of “not listening.”
  • Difficulty remembering names of people, but remembers faces.
  • Difficulty remembering verbal instructions or directions.
  • Poor recall of conversations or sequence of events.

Maths, Time Management, Directions

  • May understand higher maths and know the answer quickly, but can’t show it on paper
  • May excel at math, or may still rely on tricks for remembering math facts.
  • Relies on calculators or finger counting. May have difficulty with making change.
  • Difficulty with left/right and/or North, South, East, West.
  • Gets lost easily or never forgets a place they’ve been.
  • Difficulty reading maps.
  • May have anxiety or stress when driving in unfamiliar places. Relies on others to drive when possible.
  • May lose track of time and is frequently late – or is highly aware of it and is very rarely late.
  • Finds it difficult to estimate how long a task will take to complete.

Reading, Writing and Spelling

  • Difficulty reading, especially with unfamiliar fonts.
  • Avoids reading out loud. May dislike public speaking
  • Will commonly perceive that they “read better silently.”
  • Has adopted compensatory tricks to remember spelling or has poor or inconsistent/phonetic spelling.
  • Reading fluency and comprehension fluctuates depending upon subject matter.
  • Frequently has to re-read sentences in order to comprehend.
  • Reliance on others (assistants, spouses, significant others) for written correspondence.
  • Uncertainty with words, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Reliance on spell-check (which may further confuse and frustrate) and grammar-check.
  • Written work will not reflect the level of knowledge or expertise that would be given verbally.
  • Words out of context look “wrong.”
  • Poor handwriting – masks spelling mistakes.
  • Writes with all capital letters, or mixes capital letters within words. Abbreviates words frequently.

Behaviour, Health and Personality

  • May have a short fuse or is easily frustrated, angered, or annoyed. Easily stressed and overwhelmed in certain situations.
  • May be a ‘pleaser’ and is very easy to get on with. Great people skills.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-conscious when speaking in a group. May have difficulty getting thoughts out – pause frequently, speak in halting phrases, or leave sentences incomplete. This may worsen with stress or distraction.
  • Sticks to what they know – fear of new tasks or any situation where they are out of comfort zone.
  • Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.

© 2008 by Karen LoGiudice, New England Dyslexia Solutionsused with permission.

Strengths of adult dyslexics in the workplace

  • Able to utilise the brain’s ability to alter and create perceptions
  • Think more often in pictures than in words
  • Think and perceive multi-dimensionally, using all the senses
  • Highly intuitive and insightful
  • Great at hands-on tasks and finding out how things work
  • Highly aware of the surrounding environment, great at multi-tasking.

Taken from DFNZ, the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand.

If you are unsure if you or someone you are concerned about fits into this category, the following checklist from the British Dyslexia Association can be downloaded here
Also, refer to the self assessment  free online Dyslexia Screening Test

By addressing and correcting their dyslexia, adults may find

  • their effectiveness and productivity in the workplace will increase,
  • they will have greater job satisfaction,
  • stress and anxiety are reduced, and
  • self esteem increased.

The old solutions and strategies, such as working hard, alone and for long hours, and rote memorisation will gradually fall away as they are replaced by new, effective and easy solutions and methods, with greater understanding.

And that is key.

In an adult Davis Dyslexia Correction® Program, goals for improved performance at work/study are usually the main focus. And it is around these that the program is tailored.

What is Davis

Famous Dyslexics