Does Dyslexia Affect Memory

Across the world, thousands of people, of all ages, have been faced with a diagnosis of dyslexia. Whilst this can be overwhelming, there is ample support available to those who are living with the condition. Whether it affects you on a mild or severe level, Dyslexia can impact your daily life in many different ways. 

Dyslexia is categorized as a learning difficulty that can affect a person’s ability to carry out literate tasks such as reading, writing, and spelling. Whilst these are the key effects of dyslexia that commonly affect most people, dyslexia can also impact a person’s memory and recall. 

Somebody who has been diagnosed with dyslexia may face difficulty with recalling information they already know, processing new information, or retaining information that is new to them. Therefore, it is commonly known that dyslexia can affect a person’s memory and other functional skills.

With this in mind, how exactly does dyslexia affect one’s memory? In this article, we will explore the signs and effects of dyslexia and delve into the types of memory that are affected. 

Based in Dubai, The Brain Workshop is built on a passion to help those affected by a learning difficulty and neurodivergence. Through working with a dedicated team of professionals, service users can benefit from prestigious learning enhancement support. For more information, contact us today. 

What are the Signs of Dyslexia?

Does Dyslexia Affect Memory

Dyslexia can present itself in many different ways depending on each individual. In fact, the symptoms vary slightly depending on the age of the person showing symptoms and signs. For example, a young person may present differently to an adult. 

Young people (primary school age to teenage years) 

Some common signs of dyslexia in young people include:

  • Slow speech 
  • Poor ability to focus and concentrate 
  • Lack of ability to follow instructions 
  • Poor recall 
  • Poor handwriting (in some cases) 
  • Struggle with spelling, reading, and writing
  • Poor pencil grip 
  • Poor organization and timekeeping 
  • Easily distracted 


Some of the signs of dyslexia in adults include: 

  • Erratic spelling 
  • Difficulty reading texts of all different sizes 
  • Slowed reading and writing 
  • Struggle to maintain focus 
  • Memory issues 
  • Sensations of ‘mental overload’
  • Avoidance of work and study 
  • Poor self-esteem 

If you notice any signs of dyslexia in yourself or your children, it is essential that you visit a medical professional to discuss your symptoms and undertake assessment for an actual diagnosis. 

How is Dyslexia Diagnosed? 

Typically, dyslexia is diagnosed through an assessment undertaken by a medical professional. The assessments will test your cognitive ability and memory to determine whether you are dyslexic or not. 

In cases where a child is being diagnosed, parents, teachers, and carers may be required to submit reports based on the child’s behavior or characteristics to diagnose through observation. 

Short Term Memory 

The short term memory is responsible for the storage of temporary information, such as directions or patterns and sequences. People with dyslexia can find difficulty in remembering temporary information such as sequences and patterns. This can include things like lists and phone numbers.

This has a profound impact on individuals as short-term memory is essential for recall, therefore having a significant effect on a person’s performance in both work and academic settings where fluency in reading and writing is highly important.

Working Memory 

A person’s working memory takes into account the ability to absorb information and put it into use. For example, one ability to effectively follow instructions in a sequence, just like following a recipe. 

For those who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, retaining information and taking action on it can be increasingly difficult when it comes to performing tasks from memory. This may include tasks such as writing or organizing text, words, or numbers. For children, this can have a dramatic effect on their performance and confidence in an educational setting. 

Long Term Memory 

Perhaps less affected by dyslexia than short-term memory, the long-term memory is responsible for storing information over long periods of time. 

In scenarios where long-term memory is affected by dyslexia, an individual can face issues with recalling information stored on a long-term basis, such as knowledge and facts. This can have a substantial effect on a person’s ability to take tests or comprehension tasks.

Phonological Memory 

Phonological memory refers to an individual’s ability to recall and take in information that is passed to them verbally.  This could include knowledge or instructions. In dyslexic individuals, there is a decreased ability to recall information given verbally. 

As a result, students and young children with dyslexia may face struggles in academic settings where verbal information is profound. One key aspect of phonological memory is the ability to memorize sounds and pronunciations, something that can affect one’s ability to read and spell. 

Procedural Memory 

In the case of procedural memory, information is given in a written or verbal manner on how to perform certain tasks. People with dyslexia may have issues recalling information on how to perform tasks due to an obstruction in their procedural memory. 

This can affect both children and adults in a similar way when a task needs to be performed but there is an issue recalling the correct steps or information. 

Is it Possible to Improve the Memory of Somebody With Dyslexia? 

In a lot of cases, there are steps that can be taken to refine and improve the effects of dyslexia on a person’s type of memory. By taking the time to understand the strategies to improve memory, dyslexic individuals and their support network can work to see an overall improvement in memory and recall. 

Assistive Technology 

When reading writing and spelling are an issue, technology aids can be useful to offer ease of access. This can include tools such as audiobooks, e-readers, adapted laptops and tablets, or text-to-speech software. 

Multisensory Learning 

Multisensory learning techniques can encompass a combination of sight, touch, and sound. By combining multiple senses, recall, and memory can be increased, offering additional stimulation to the brain during the learning process. 

Some multisensory learning techniques could include: 

  • Learning with song and dance 
  • Use of aromatic oils 
  • Sensory toys 
  • Combinations of visual and auditory learning 

Learning in Intervals 

When learning new information, our brains can become tired, even more so in those who have dyslexia. In this instance, regular breaks and intervals can be highly advantageous to offer the brain some downtime. 

This has been proven to be an effective learning technique, by breaking the learning process up into manageable chunks, therefore, improving the likelihood of effective recall from both the short and long-term memory. 

In Summary 

How Does Dyslexia Affect Communication in Children

Dyslexia is unique to each individual, however, this type of learning disability can have a significant effect on the person’s memory in all aspects, including long-term, short-term, phonetic, and working memory. As a result, those who have dyslexia can face struggles in academic and work settings resulting in falling behind and a loss of confidence. 

In order to improve memory, there are strategies available to improve memory and recall overall. This may include the use of multisensory learning techniques, assistive technology, and interval learning.

The Brain Workshop 

Facing issues with neurodivergence or your memory can have a dramatic impact on your confidence. At The Brain Workshop, Dubai, we are a team of dedicated professionals who are devoted to helping people on an individual basis to improve their memory and learning skills. Whether you suffer from ADHD, Dyslexia or you are looking for general support, our friendly team is waiting to help. 

To find out more, get in touch with us today.

The Brain Workshop

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