DM News Blog

Latest news in literacy, child development, and all things DM Ed

Dyslexia not linked to IQ

by Sarah Forrest || 28 Feb 2017

“My son is really smart, but he just can’t seem to grasp the most basic words we’ve been working on for months!”

We hear some version of this line from nearly every parent who comes to DM Ed for consultation or solutions for their child’s reading difficulty. And they are right. Studies have shown that dyslexia is completely unmoored from general intelligence. Children with reading difficulties have normal or above average IQs.

This can be especially important for the children themselves to understand. If you have a child who has been frustrated for years with reading and spelling, I bet you’ve heard another common phrase: “I’m just dumb! I’ll never learn.”

It can be heartbreaking to hear as a parent, especially when you know it’s not true.

If your child is old enough to understand it, perhaps show them this graph from the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity found here. The top line in both graphs is IQ, which you can see nearly exactly matches in both images.
Reading difficulties and dyslexia are very rarely linked to IQ – and it’s vital that both parents and struggling readers understand that.

More on the true causes of dyslexia is available here.