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Mastering Reading with Adult Dyslexia: Tips and Tools You Need to Know

Most of us with dyslexia struggle with reading and comprehending what we read. One of the realities of our life is that we will not be able to skip out on reading all the time, especially when talking about reading for university or work.

Today we will break down some of the top tips we have gathered over the years to make reading less painful. Before we go any further, we want to remind you that readiang is a skill that takes time to build up and develop. Keep going even if these tips don't work for you immediately.

Make a Plan Before you Start Reading

Fun fact I have a degree in History. That means I spent countless HOURS reading all kinds of dry old books, looking for primary sources. When taking in A LOT of information, making a plan is KEY! Here is how I break things down:

  • Figure out how many pages (or chapters) I need to read

  • I break that into chunks based on how long I have to read (a week, a day, etc.)!

  • If reading a lot quickly, I schedule out little stopping points.

Take Breaks When you NEED

Reading is a marathon, not a sprint. Next time you have a HUGE quarterly report to go through, take breaks (when you need them). Taking breaks means listening to your brain; if you get tired and information is struggling to stick, stop trying to cram more in and work on something else for a bit. The dyslexic brain struggles with working memory, and reading heavily relies on it.

Use Tools to Help You

Tools can range from highlighters to sticky notes to a piece of colored paper that keeps you reading straight. The goal is to make your brain do less work.


While you read your quarterly report, you see a number you want to ask Jan about; grab a sticky note, jot down "Jan ?" and then place it right by the number on the page.

Looking for some quotes to pull for a Uni paper you are working on? As you read, take a highlighter (or pencel if you rent your books) and mark out anything that sticks out to you. The benefit is that your working memory does not have to try to remember what quotes you want to pull; you can scan for them when you finish reading.

Use Text to Voice Software

When you get sent chunky documents or emails, use the text-to-voice software on your computer to have the info read to you. Dyslexics do well with multi-sensory learning, so read along with the text for maximum reinforcement.

3 Quick Bonus Tips:

  • Ask for documents/ assigned reading in advance (so you can read at your pace).

  • Read when your brain is rested (try tackling hard stuff early morning)

  • Build reading into your routine (so your brain knows when to expect it)

Even if you are a dyslexic who enjoys reading, work/school reading can be a struggle. The best (and most annoying) advice we can give is to read, read, read! Reading is a skill just like being organized, and the more we practice it, the less of a struggle it becomes!

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