The reasons for illiteracy are complex. Not infrequently, unfavorable family and social circumstances play a role: social difficulties in the family, disinterested and overwhelmed parents, neglect, a prolonged illness, all of which can contribute to the fact that children do not learn to read and write properly during school time. Reading will be especially Experience negative when children or young people are demotivated, punished or even socially excluded in their attempts.
In families, where books and newspapers are part of everyday life and in which even small children are read aloud, functional illiteracy hardly ever occurs.
Illiteracy and dyslexia
Around four percent of the students in a year in Germany suffer from reading-spelling-weakness (LRS), dyslexia. The World Health Organization defines LRS as a developmental disorder of reading and writing skills. The affected children are attracted by the fact that, in addition to reading and writing, they actually perform well at school. The question of whether dyslexia has anything to do with illiteracy can be answered with "no". It is thought that genetic influences or damage during pregnancy and childbirth influence the information processing in the brain and thus the development is disturbed. The parent's home and the child's environment, on the other hand, have little significance in terms of the causes of the disorder.