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Does Dyslexia affect more boys than girls?

July 25, 2022

If you are wondering,”does dyslexia affect more boys than girls?” then you’ll be interested in what Neuroscientist and Speech Pathologist Dr Martha Burns has to say. You can also watch a brief interview with Dr Burns on the topic.

Does dyslexia affect more boys or more girls?

Dyslexia is more prevalent among boys than girls. As with most learning disabilities, Dyslexia is more common among males – but different scientific studies report different figures. At least two thirds of people with Dyslexia are male.

Why does dyslexia affect more boys than girls?

“In some cases it may be that the genetic predisposition is exacerbated by some other factors in the male development,” Dr Burns explains.

“The male brain matures at a different rate, it seems to be more vulnerable to neurodevelopmental factors so males generally have more learning disabilities”.

What does that mean?

does dyslexia affect more boys than girls 2 boys

Even before starting school, boys and girls have different brains

It’s hardly a revelation to parents that boys and girls have different brains. What’s interesting is exactly how their brains are different.

Studies show significant differences in:

  • Processing speed: Processing speed is a cognitive predictor of reading skill. Girls show an advantage over boys by age 5 that is maintained until adulthood (e.g. Camarata & Woodcock, 2006; Irwing, 2012).
  • Impulse control (inhibition): on average, girls are better at controlling their impulses than boys. Studies have shown that young children who are better at controlling impulses are more likely to perform better on academic tests.
does dyslexia affect more boys than girls boys and girls

How to help a child with dyslexia

Children with Dyslexia benefit from strengthening their cognitive skills – specifically, foundational reading skills.

  • Memory: important for remembering new sounds, words and sentences
  • Attention: important for remembering learning new sounds and sticking with a reading task
  • Processing: important for perceiving sounds and words correctly
  • Sequencing: important for letter, word and sentence order

If these four skills are strengthened, Dyslexic children can improve their reading skills.

does dyslexia affect more boys than girls dad reading with son 2

3 Step Reading Program strengthens foundational reading skills

Our 3 Step Reading Program is designed to first build the foundations of reading, including auditory processing speed, memory and impulse control.

Designed as a series of fun computer-based exercises, 3 Step Reading Program builds the underlying skills that support reading and writing development.


Arnett, A.B., Pennington B.F., Peterson, R.L., Willcutt, E.G., DeFries, J.C., Olson, R. K. (2017). Explaining the sex difference in dyslexia. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58:6, 719-727.

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