Spotting Dyslexia Warning Signs

By Tracey Wood

Part of Overcoming Dyslexia For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A dyslexic person, although bright in many areas, struggles long-term with written (and sometimes spoken) words. A psychologist can identify that your child is dyslexic by a variety symptoms but you should lookout for warning signs that include the following:

  • Lack of interest in letters and words at a young age.

  • Inability to identify rhyming words (like hat, pat, and fat) and word patterns (like Bill, bear, bun, bed, and ball, all beginning with “buh”) at an early age.

  • Difficulty remembering names of familiar objects, numbers, colors, and shapes at an early age.

  • Inability to remember sequences of numbers (like 911 in an emergency) or letters (like the alphabet) or fast facts (like multiplication tables).

  • Extreme difficulty with reading. A dyslexic child may leave out little words (like of), misread small everyday words (like they) even though he reads some harder words, read similar-looking words instead of actual words (like was for saw and horse for house), read words that are similar in meaning instead of actual words (reading little for small or lovely for pretty), and read words that make no sense but have one or two letters that are in the actual word (like tall instead of lot because both words have l and t in them). A dyslexic child might, for example, read “There were a lot of roses growing all around Jane’s house” as “There was a tall flowers growing around Jane’s horse.”

  • Extreme difficulty with spelling. A dyslexic child may transpose letters (aleiv instead of alive), leave out letters (aliv), add letters (alieve), and reverse letters (typically b and d). He may also write words phonetically (exactly as he hears them), producing spellings like becuz, wur, and thay.