Germany

According to the Bundersverband Legasthenie und Dyskalkulie:

All children who learn to read and write initially make similar mistakes to varying degrees. However, the problems usually decrease quickly if there is no reading / spelling disorder. Children with LRS (Lese-Rechtschreib-Schwäche – reading and writing deficiency) make the mistakes much more often and the difficulties persist over a longer period of time. Wimmer and Mayringer comment that German children with dyslexia have no reading-accuracy difficulties and are known only for their slow reading speed.

In one report by Dr. Renate Valtin of Humboldt University, Berlin, “Legasthenie (dyslexia) is recognized in Bavaria as an incurable illness”. Dr Valtin argued that the rate of dyslexia varies in Germany from 1.3% in Saxony to 7.2% in Hamburg, and is social class dependent: 43% of dyslexics and 41% of the other poor readers were from poor socio-economic demographics. Only 7% of dyslexics and other poor readers were from wealthy social demographics (compared to 30% of children with the highest reading competence level).

Shockingly, Dr Valtin also reported that German teachers “do not feel responsible for the failure of the pupils (According to PIRLS: Bavaria: 37%, Thüringen: 10%)”. This may be linked with the discovery that dyslexic children in Bavaria develop a fatalistic view of their condition (“Dyslexia comes from the Lord, from God”. “I will stay like this, nothing can be done”).

Most in-depth studies of dyslexia in Germany come from organisations based outside Germany itself. The International Dyslexia Association for instance showed that assuming the definition of dyslexia is based primarily on reading performance and test scores –

“The prevalence rate for dyslexia internationally is highly sensitive to the criteria used for diagnosis of dyslexia. For example, in a large sample of German children, prevalence was between 1.9 to 2.6% when the criteria used was a reading score of 1.5 to 1 standard deviations below the norm AND average performance in at least one other cognitive measure (Moll, Kunze, Neuhoff, Bruder, & Schulte-Körne, 2014). This is consistent with the idea that the prevalence rate is lower for orthographically shallow languages as mentioned above. The German prevalence rate jumps up to a range of 7.1 to 15.6%, however, if only the reading score of 1.5 to 1 standard deviations below the norm is used. Based only on this criterion of reading performance, the prevalence rate of dyslexia in this orthographically shallow language (German) is as high as the rate for a language with a deep orthography (e.g., English)”.

According to the European Dyslexia Charter (2018) from the UK Dyslexia Institute:

“In Germany, more than seven million adults are barely able to read and write. Germany has a population of over 80 million. Of these, about 7.5 million adults between the ages of 18 and 64 are ‘functionally illiterate’ and can barely read and write. But help is available for those affected.”

See for instance:
>>bvl-legasthenie.de/legasthenie/diagnostik.html
>>dyslexiaida.org/the-myths-and-truths-of-dyslexia/
>>eppgroup.eu/sites/default/files/attachments/2018/11/european-dyslexia-charter.pdf
>>dgls.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Valtin-dyslexia-Boston-final.pdf
>>statista.com/statistics/454349/population-by-age-group-germany/
>>researchgate.net/publication/231917625_Characteristics_of_Developmental_Dyslexia_in_a_Regular_Writing_System
>>pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9265873/
>>researchgate.net/publication/238653645_Differences_in_Phonological_Recoding_in_German_and_English-Speaking_Children
>>academia.edu/33651025/The_Galletly_Report_Reading_accuracy_development_difficulties_and_instruction_in_Australia