Learning disabilities


Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.

It's a "specific learning difficulty", which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn't affected.

It's estimated that up to 1 in every 10 to 20 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.

Dyslexia is lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.

What are the signs of dyslexia?

Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts school and begins to focus more on learning how to read and write.

A person with dyslexia may:

  • read and write very slowly
  • confuse the order of letters in words
  • put letters the wrong way round – such as writing "b" instead of "d"
  • have poor or inconsistent spelling
  • understand information when told verbally, but have difficulty with information that's written down
  • find it hard to carry out a sequence of directions
  • struggle with planning and organisation

However, people with dyslexia often have good skills in other areas, such as creative thinking and problem solving.

Read more about the symptoms of dyslexia (link opens in new window).


The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) (link opens in new window) is a national charity that offers a helpline, information about dyslexia and local support. It is the national organisation for dyslexia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their vision is a dyslexia friendly society enabling all dyslexic people to reach their potential. The charity offers:

  • dyslexia information and advice
  • mentoring
  • links to local dyslexia associations
  • a helpline
  • guidance for people with dyslexia and parents of children with dyslexia, such as IT and technology guidance

The BDA aims to make all information, advice and signposting completely impartial to help people make important choices and decisions for themselves.

Email: helpline@bdadyslexia.org.uk
Tel: 0333 405 4567 (helpline)

Visit the website for helpline opening times.

Getting a job with dyslexia

Exceptional Individuals (link opens in new window) is the first employment partnership for dyslexic people.

Entry to the job market can be a daunting task for applicants with dyslexia, Exceptional Individuals help them overcome key barriers, and work with business to create more inclusive workplaces.

Support groups

South Bedfordshire Dyslexia Association (link opens in new window) are a small group of dedicated parents and teachers, many with specialist dyslexia training, who offer practical help and guidance to children and adults.

The Codpast (link opens in new window) is a multimedia, online resource tailor made for students and adults with Dyslexia. You will find relevant help, advice and up to the minute news and views. Whether you're in college, Uni, looking for your first job or building your career, you'll find The Codpast a place full of really useful information.