What is the definition of Developmental Reading Disorder?

Developmental reading disorder is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols.

It is also called dyslexia.

What are the alternative names for Developmental Reading Disorder?


What are the causes for Developmental Reading Disorder?

Developmental reading disorder (DRD) or dyslexia occurs when there is a problem in areas of the brain that help interpret language. It is not caused by vision problems. The disorder is an information processing problem. It does not interfere with thinking ability. Most people with DRD have normal or above-average intelligence.

DRD may appear with other problems. These can include developmental writing disorder and developmental arithmetic disorder.

The condition often runs in families.

What are the symptoms for Developmental Reading Disorder?

A person with DRD may have trouble rhyming and separating sounds that make up spoken words. These abilities affect learning to read. A child's early reading skills are based on word recognition. That involves being able to separate out the sounds in words and match them with letters and groups of letters.

People with DRD have trouble connecting the sounds of language to the letters of words. This may also create problems in understanding sentences.

True dyslexia is much broader than simply confusing or transposing letters. For example, mistaking a "b" and a "d."

In general, symptoms of DRD may include problems with:

  • Determining the meaning of a simple sentence
  • Learning to recognize written words
  • Rhyming words

What are the current treatments for Developmental Reading Disorder?

A different approach is needed for each person with DRD. An individual education plan should be considered for each child with the condition.

The following may be recommended:

  • Extra learning assistance, called remedial instruction
  • Private, individual tutoring
  • Special day classes

Positive reinforcement is important. Many students with learning disabilities have poor self-esteem. Psychological counseling may be helpful.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Developmental Reading Disorder?

Specialized help (called remedial instruction) can help improve reading and comprehension.

What are the possible complications for Developmental Reading Disorder?

DRD may lead to:

  • Problems in school, including behavior problems
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Reading problems that continue
  • Problems with job performance

When should I contact a medical professional for Developmental Reading Disorder?

Call your provider if your child appears to be having trouble learning to read.

How do I prevent Developmental Reading Disorder?

Learning disorders tend to run in families. It is important to notice and recognize the warning signs. The earlier the disorder is discovered, the better the outcome.


Kelly DP, Natale MJ. Neurodevelopmental function and dysfunction in the school-age child. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 32.

Lawton AW, Wang MY. Lesions of retrochiasmal pathways, higher cortical function, and nonorganic visual loss. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 9.13.

Nass R, Sidhu R, Ross G. Autism and other developmental disabilities. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 90.

  • Condition: Dyslexia
  • Journal: Dyslexia (Chichester, England)
  • Treatment Used: Literacy intervention program
  • Number of Patients: 116
  • Published —
The study researched using a literacy intervention program to improve symptoms of dyslexia.
  • Condition: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
  • Journal: Psychological medicine
  • Treatment Used: Methylphenidate
  • Number of Patients: 84
  • Published —
This study tested the safety and efficacy of using methylphenidate to treat adults with ADHD.
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Behavioral
  • Participants: 50
  • Start Date: November 1, 2020
Training Second-grade Dyslexic Students Using a Computerized Program in Assiut, Egypt
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Behavioral
  • Participants: 40
  • Start Date: July 1, 2020
Neural Mechanisms of Successful Intervention in Children With Dyslexia