Indian, western dyslexics have same woes

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2007.12 Published online 21 July 2007

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s directorial debut dealt with dyslexia

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Dyslexia is the disability in learning to read and spell adequately despite normal intelligence and adequate instruction. It is marked by a sensory defect in vision and hearing. Prevalence of dyslexia among Indian children varies between 3% and 10% of all school-going children.

Studies on dyslexia have been conducted mostly on western subjects. Western languages do not have a good phoneme to grapheme correspondence, meaning words are not always pronounced as they are written. However, most Indian languages are spoken as they are written. Also, the phonological rules of western languages are different from those of Indian languages. The study was based on the contention that it would be erroneous to generalize the results of western dyslexics to those speaking Indian languages.

In one of the first studies on Indian-language-speaking children, two researchers at the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing in Mysore investigated auditory processing in children with dyslexia who spoke and studied Kannada1 .

The result does not support the notion that phonological rules influence auditory processing. The researchers say there is a definite need for early identification and rehabilitation of auditory processing disorder in Indian children with dyslexia. They recommend MMN or Mismatch Negativity study as a valuable tool for this.


  1. Shankarnarayan,V. C. & Maruthy,S. Mismatch negativity in children with dyslexia speaking Indian languages. Behav. Brain Funct. doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-3-36(2007).