Signs of Dyslexia

Try ourĀ questionnaire. This will give just a brief pointer but if you/your child scores positively, here are some other factors to consider.

Signs (up to 7 years)

  • Speech problems – mispronounciation of words, wrong order of words. However, some dyslexics learn to speak early and are very articulate.
  • Rhyming may be difficult. (e.g. book and look).
  • Poor sense of left & right.
  • Difficulty in hearing and pronouncing sounds such as b, p, d, m, n, u, y, l, f, v, th.
  • Attention problems – doesn’t appear to hear when given explanations.
  • Lack of progress in reading, writing and spelling, contrary to expectations built up by normal development in other areas.
  • Poor fine motor control – e.g. holding a pencil, cutting with scissors.
  • Mirror writing and difficulty in forming letters and writing them down in some reasonable state of order. Constant confusion with b, d, p, q, u, y, m, n, s, z.
  • No sense of left and right.
  • Undecided which hand to use when eating, drawing, playing, throwing balls, etc,
  • Clumsiness.
  • Difficulty in remembering instructions e.g. “Go upstairs and put on your socks and shoes and bring down your jumper from the wardrobe.
  • Difficulty understanding the concept of time. May forget their birth date, their home address.
  • Difficulty counting.
  • Difficulty in playing sequencing and matching games.
  • Problems fastening buttons, zips, tying shoe laces, and with the order in which they put their clothes on.
  • Tantrums and signs of frustration at home, and at school for no apparent reason.
  • Daydreaming and switching off in class and at home.
  • Starts school happy, then becomes reluctant.
  • If any literacy problems have already occurred in the family then special attention should be given to the signs given above.

Signs in 7 – 13 years

  • Unable to read, or reading age well below chronological age.
  • Still having difficulty with sounds of letters.
  • Poor, immature handwriting.
  • Very poor spelling.
  • Letter and sound confusion persist. E.g. writes ‘v’ for ‘th’ etc.
  • No idea of punctuation when reading or writing a story.
  • Essays and stories may often be brief and to the point.
  • They know what they want to write but never know how to start and have great trouble writing their ideas down.
  • If they can read they don’t enjoy it and seem to hate books and reading aloud.
  • When reading aloud they often misread words such as saw and was and omit and insert words frequently.
  • Some children appear to read well but when they get to the end of the text they cannot remember anything they have read, and have to start again.
  • Copying from board or book is difficult and inaccurate.
  • They may still reverse numbers, e.g. writing 24 for 42 when doing complex arithmetic.
  • Great problems in remembering multiplication tables, particularly their sequence. Also, the order of the days of the week, months of the year and the alphabet.
  • Musical notation can be a problem, and a lack of feeling for timing can occur. A string, brass or wind instrument is preferable to the piano.
  • Clumsiness and lack of co-ordination are still present.
  • Some dyslexic children appear to have difficulty in understanding what is said to them and there is a time-lag before they answer. They are slow to process heard information.
  • At this stage, frustration, withdrawal and behaviour problems seem to be increasing.
  • Extreme reluctance to go to school may cause problems for all the family.

Signs 13 years – Adult

  • They have difficulty reading and writing.
  • They may have difficulty listening to a series of instructions.
  • Problems putting across their ideas to others.
  • They dread parties in case word games are played.
  • They often pay bills in cash so as not to use a cheque book.
  • They may confuse and mispronounce words. e.g. say ‘cistificate’ instead of ‘certificate’ or ‘pacific’ for ‘specific’.
  • They may be in a position of authority because they have good verbal skills and have learnt to disguise their poor spelling and/or reading but experience total panic when they have to give impromptu speeches or preside over meetings.
  • If they have managed to get to university they may struggle with note taking and organisation of material. Writing essays will take three times as long as other students and organising a dissertation will become a mammoth task.
  • They may also experience memory problems and find it exceptionally difficult to memorise lists, facts, and long complicated names.
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