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Co-occurring difficulties : 2. Other conditions which can occur

2. Other conditions which can occur


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and the world around them.

Autism can be seen on its own, or alongside other conditions, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities.

Signs of autism include:

  • Unusual behaviour;
  • inflexible thinking; 
  • over-reliance on routines;
  • lack of social and communication skills. 

Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is the term often used to describe those at the high functioning end of the Autistic Spectrum.  It typically   involves significant difficulties with social interaction, communication and flexible thinking. People with Asperger’s Syndrome may have learned to largely conceal their problems but still find any social interaction very challenging and panic easily when they cannot cope.

Emotional Behavioural Disorder (or Difficulties) - EBD

Some children’s behaviour or emotional responses are different from generally accepted norms, which can interfere with a child's own learning or the learning of their peers.

It is important to note that some people show signs of EBD as a result of unrecognised specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. It is therefore very important to look to see what lies behind emotional or behavioural difficulties and address those issues.

Visual Stress

Some people experience discomfort when looking at bright lights, certain patterns or strong contrasts and may also find some kinds of printed pages hard or uncomfortable to look at.  This has been called Visual Discomfort, Visual stress or Meares-Irlen syndrome.  When severe, this can cause headaches, migraines or seizures.  

Coloured lenses or coloured filters can reduce glare and discomfort and make reading easier for some people.

Visual stress is not a cause of dyslexia – it is found as much in people who read well as in those with reading difficulties.  

Abagail’s Story

Abagail was assessed by Dyslexia Action when she was 7 years old. She is now 12 and has been having lessons at Dyslexia Action Nottingham, since she was diagnosed.

“When I was assessed, and they told me I was dyslexic, I felt like it was something new; a new thing that been made up, because no one had told me about dyslexia before."

On these pages you’ll find useful and up-to-date information about what dyslexia is and how it affects people

Find information about getting help at school, college, university or work and about useful learning tools, literacy support and assistive technologies.