Is Dyslexia the same across languages and writing systems?

, C. P.

I consider the question of whether there are aspects of dyslexia that are universal across languages. In doing so, I draw on research on the development of reading across languages and writing systems and on what has been learned from a forthcoming volume on dyslexia across languages, edited by Verhoeven, Perfetti, and Pugh. I explain the challenges of such comparisons and a strategy for making them, using facts about languages, writing systems, and the results of research on learning to read and dyslexia. Among the questions I address are subtyping, the causal role of phonological deficits, brain correlates of reading across languages, the search for deeper causes, and effective interventions. With the caveat that the conclusions are based on 9 or 17, depending on the question, of the world?s 3700+ written languages, the diversity in the manifestation of reading problems occurs around some important shared and probably universal core components.