What Are the Signs of Dyslexia?
The problems displayed by individuals with dyslexia involve difficulties in acquiring and using language--reading and writing letters in the wrong order is just one manifestation of dyslexia and does not occur in all cases. Other problems experienced by dyslexics include:
- Learning to speak
- Organizing written and spoken language
- Learning letters and their sounds
- Memorizing number facts
- Learning a foreign language
- Correctly doing math operations
Not all individuals who have difficulties with these skills are dyslexic. Formal testing is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected dyslexia.
The difficulties noted below are often associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual's age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. A qualified diagnostician can test a person to determine if he or she is truly dyslexic.
- May hide reading problems
- May spell poorly; relies on others to correct spelling
- Avoids writing; may not be able to write
- Often very competent in oral language
- Relies on memory; may have an excellent memory
- Often has good "people" skills
- Often is spatially talented; professions include, but are not limited, to engineers, architects, designers, artists and craftspeople, mathematicians, physicists, physicians (esp. surgeons and orthopedists), and dentists.
- May be very good at "reading" people (intuitive)
- In jobs is often working well below their intellectual capacity
- May have difficulty with planning, organization and management of time, materials and tasks.
- Are often entrepreneurs
Signs of dyslexia in young, preschool children include talking later than expected, a slowness to add new words, difficulty rhyming, and trouble following multistep directions. After a child begins school, the signs of dyslexia include:
- Difficulty reading single words, such as a word on a flashcard
- Difficulty learning the connection between letters and sounds
- Confusing small words, such as at and to
- Letter reversals, such as d for b
- Word reversals, such as tip for pit
Having one of these signs does not mean your child has dyslexia; many children reverse letters before the age of 7. But, if several signs exist and reading problems persist, or if you have a family history of dyslexia, you may want to have your child evaluated.
Elementary Aged Children
Does Your 1st, 2nd or 3rd-Grader:
- Remember simple sequences such as counting to 20, naming the days of the week, or reciting the alphabet?
- Have an understanding of rhyming words, such as knowing that fat rhymes with cat?
- Recognize words that begin with the same sound (for example, that bird, baby, and big all start with b)?
- Easily clap hands to the rhythm of a song?
- Frequently use specific words to name objects rather than words like “stuff” and “that thing”?
- Easily remember spoken directions?
- Remember names of places and people?
- Show understanding of right-left, up-down, front-back?
- Sit still for a reasonable period of time?
- Make and keep friends easily?
Answering “no” to some or most of these questions may indicate a learning disability. Not all students who have difficulties with these skills are dyslexic. Formal testing is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected dyslexia.
Click here to view or download IDA's Dyslexia Fact Sheets