Spotting Dyslexia Warning Signs - dummies

By Tracey Wood, Katrina Cochrane

Part of Understanding & Managing Dyslexia For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

A person with dyslexia struggles on a long-term basis with written (and sometimes spoken) words, even though she’s bright (or extra bright) in other areas. A whole cocktail of symptoms tells a psychologist that your child has dyslexia, and you can find a list on the BDA website to help you further, but warning signs include the following:

  • Lack of interest in letters and words at a young age, although shows enjoyment with being read to.

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

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

  • Inability to remember sequences of numbers (like their telephone number) or letters (like the alphabet) or fast facts (like multiplication tables).

  • Extreme difficulty with reading. A child with dyslexia may leave out little words (like of), misread small everyday words (like they) even though she reads some harder words. She may read similar-looking words instead of actual words (like was for saw and horse for house) or read words that are similar in meaning instead of actual words (reading little for small or lovely for pretty).

    A child with dyslexia may 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 child with dyslexia may, 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 child with dyslexia may transpose letters (aleiv instead of alive), leave out letters (aliv), add letters (alieve) and reverse letters (typically b and d). She may also write words phonetically (exactly as she hears them), producing spellings like becuz, wur and thay.