Is It Dyslexia or Something Else?

blue and orange butterfly graphic

Is it Dyslexia?


If your child has trouble reading or paying attention to the book or screen in front of them, dyslexia could be the cause. It’s not always dyslexia, however, and dyslexia is commonly misdiagnosed by medical professionals. 

Dyslexia is a language disorder, not a vision disorder. Some vision conditions have symptoms similar to those of dyslexia, while other vision conditions can co-exist with dyslexia. The eye doctors at Artisan Pediatric Eyecare provide a specialized vision evaluation for individuals suspected of having dyslexia, and we take great care to evaluate both symptoms and cause. 

From the University of Michigan Health System:

Dyslexia may occur with other learning or emotional problems. Some of the conditions associated with dyslexia may be the result of the way the child's brain was formed or how it functions. Some of the emotional problems that a child with dyslexia can have are due to frustrations and failures at school and home. But keep in mind that in order to diagnose a child with dyslexia, the evidence must show that there is no other cause for the reading disability.

In common vernacular, the term “dyslexia” is often used to describe the condition of a child who reverses letters or words or has other reading difficulties, but these symptoms alone cannot be used to diagnose dyslexia.

Dyslexia actually refers to a set of symptoms that cause people to experience difficulty with both the written word and oral language skills.


decorative image describing Dyslexia

Conditions Related to Dyslexia

Research and statistics show an estimated 5-10% of the population has dyslexia. 90-95% of individuals showing these symptoms would not be diagnosed as having dyslexia, even if some difficulties and behaviors present themselves in the same way.

According to UMHS, the following conditions can present similar symptoms and difficulties to dyslexia:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Executive Dysfunction
  • Memory Impairments
  • Math-Related Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders

These conditions can both manifest themselves as very similar to dyslexia, or can present themselves alongside dyslexia, so a proper diagnosis is important. 


Our Diagnostic Approach to Dyslexia 

A vision evaluation at Artisan Pediatric Eyecare is an important part of the inter-disciplinary care team evaluation process. 

Why an inter-disciplinary care team? Because an inter-disciplinary care team is made up of providers who are sub-specialists within their areas of expertise, providing the combination of evaluations necessary to correctly diagnose dyslexia.

An inter-disciplinary care team evaluation for dyslexia is recommended during the second semester of first grade, or before second grade. This allows for earlier intervention and academic support. However, evaluation can be performed and intervention approaches implemented for older children and adults.

With an inter-disciplanrty eye care team at your disposal, we can find the root cause of reading or speaking difficulties, and treat your child accordingly. 

For even more detailed information about dyslexia, dyslexia diagnosis, and dyslexia treatment, please visit our Dyslexia Evaluation page

You can schedule an appointment with Artisan Pediatric Eyecare right now by calling (208) 900-3336.