Dyslexia Facts

    • Dyslexia affects 1 in 5 students in Ontario, and up to 20% of the population as a whole. This means that in any class, there could be 4 or 5 students struggling to learn to read because of dyslexia.
    • Students with dyslexia can be identified as early as age 5½ with 92% accuracy.
    • Children with dyslexia can learn to read if they are identified early and are provided with a structured literacy approach to reading that is evidence-based, explicit, sequential and cumulative and includes an emphasis on phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency and comprehension tailored to individual student needs.
    • LD is the largest exceptionality category in Ontario’s schools. Dyslexia is specifically referred to under the Learning Disability Exceptionality Category 4 yet few children with dyslexia receive the early identification and intervention that they require.
    • In 2015, approximately 44,000 children were waiting to be assessed or receive services for a Learning Disability (LD) in our province. It is common for schools to delay assessment for children who struggle to learn to read until Grade 3 and often later. This “wait and see” approach causes the child to fall further behind and leads to serious social & emotional struggles for a child with dyslexia.
    • It is estimated that 40% of students with LD, including many with dyslexia, experience mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
    • Statistics Canada research indicates that people with “learning limitations,” including dyslexia, experience under-employment and unemployment at a much higher rates.
    • Research from the Literacy and Policing Project indicates that 65% of our incarcerated population in Canada reads at less than a grade 8 level of literacy. International research indicates that a large majority of people who are incarcerated are dyslexic.
    • We know that teachers want to help all children learn to read. However, in the province of Ontario, colleges of education are not providing teachers with the depth of knowledge and skills necessary to allow them to effectively identify and to teach a child with dyslexia to read.
    • Children with dyslexia often possess average to above average intelligence, and some children with dyslexia are also identified as gifted (considered Twice Exceptional/2E). A study by Cass Business School identified that 30% of highly successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic. The Dyslexic Advantage identifies that along with weaknesses that traditionally define dyslexia, students with dyslexia exhibit superior skills in a number of other areas.
    • Children and adults with dyslexia may also be diagnosed with ADHD and Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), at a higher rate than in the general population.