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The 4 differences between dyslexia and dyslalia

The 4 differences between dyslexia and dyslalia

June 11, 2024

We can affirm that language is one of the most important elements for the human species, as it differentiates us from other animals and gives us the ability to reason, reflect, and abstract. In short, it gives us the power to communicate systematically and clear with our equals.

Another great advantage that humans have is the ability to transmit that language in writing, so that it lasts over time and allows future generations to learn about our mistakes and successes. But nobody said that this would be easy: there are certain learning and speech disorders that can compromise the normal development of a child in linguistic terms.

In this article, we will talk about the most common learning disorder in children - dyslexia- and one of the most well-known speech disorders, dyslalia . The manifestations of dyslexia and dyslalia in children can lead to several confusions, which we will try to clear with this article.

Main differences between dyslexia and dyslalia

The main differences of these two disorders, dyslexia and dyslalia, lie in their definition, their causes, the most frequent errors committed by the people who suffer them and in their treatment.

1. Differences in the definition

Dyslexia, with a prevalence in the school population of 3-10%, is a learning disorder with reading difficulties that has a neurological origin and is considered chronic (that is, adults also suffer from dyslexia).

The reading skills of the person with dyslexia are well below what is expected for their level of intelligence and maturational level , and can present many difficulties to recognize words at the written level. These difficulties can lead them to avoid activities as pleasant as reading, or to avoid other activities such as study, which is related to the academic difficulties they often present.

Imagine for a moment the objective difficulties that a person with dyslexia has to go through who is studying for a test or a competition. How frustrating, right? That's why it's common for people with dyslexia who do not know they suffer from feeling hopeless, sad, with feelings of uselessness, thinking that they are not good for what they are doing, and so on.

Unlike dyslexia, dyslalia is a phonological speech disorder and is not usually chronic. It is considered the most common speech disorder in children under 5 years of age. It is an alteration in the correct articulation of the phonemes, which consists of the minor's inability to correctly pronounce the sounds of words (or of certain groups of words) that would be expected for their maturational and intellectual level.

2. Differences in the most typical errors of dyslexia and dyslalia

The most frequent errors that a person with dyslexia presents during reading are: omitting letters and sounds , move the position of the letters within a word, hesitate during the reading or repeat what is being read ... In addition, having a slower pace in the reading activity, they have difficulties to understand what they have read.

The typical errors of a child with dyslalia are: omission of sounds, substitution of ones by others in an incorrect way (eg, says that or gesa, instead of a table). In the most severe cases, it may be impossible to understand the child.

3. Differences in their causes

The causes of dyslexia seem to be that they are neurologically based, while the causes of dyslalia are much more varied , and include the following:

  • Immaturity of the speech organs
  • Defects in hearing that prevent the proper pronunciation of words
  • Abnormal functioning of the peripheral organs of speech, being the most common reason. The most affected phonemes are: r, s, z, l, k and ch.
  • Insufficient education or unfavorable family environment for the child
  • Defects of the organs that intervene in speech (labial, dental, palatal, lingual, mandibular and nasal).

4. Differences in treatment

These two disorders also differ qualitatively in the way they are treated . In dyslalia it is best to prevent and intervene early with a speech therapist and support exercises in the child's home. In these cases the phonetics of the child can be improved with adequate therapy, although it is certain that this will depend on the causes of the dyslalia. Usually the speech therapist will focus on performing exercises with the child in order to improve the muscles involved in the production of phonemes.

On the other hand, the treatment of dyslexia is usually psychopedagogical and logopedic.Apart from using techniques to improve phonological awareness, you should take into account the emotional state of the child or adolescent, with the aim that this disorder does not prevent you from developing a healthy self-esteem.

Summary of the main differences

  • Dyslexia is a learning disorder; The dyslalia is a speech disorder.
  • Dyslexia is considered chronic, although it can be treated with notable improvements and adaptations to the environment; The dislalia, with a good treatment on time, is not chronic.
  • The causes of dyslexia are neurological; those of dislalia are more varied (evolutionary or physiological, audiogenic, functional, organic).
  • Dyslexia carries more associated psychological and emotional problems than dyslalia. Some people with dyslexia may have serious self-esteem problems and may have repercussions throughout their lives.
  • The treatment for dyslexia is usually psychopedagogical, whereas dyslalia usually remits with logopedic work.


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