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Dyslexia symptoms for kids

Symptoms of dyslexia are diverse

 - Did you know most dyslexia signs are language-based?
 - Learn how to diagnose dyslexia in your child.

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Symptoms of Dyslexia

How to Recognize Dyslexia in Children

The symptoms of dyslexia are many and varied, and not limited to the switching of letters and numbers. Use this dyslexia symptoms checklist to decide if a clinical evaluation is warranted.

The fact that up to 40% of children do not find reading easy is not surprising -- reading is a relatively new human invention. There is no reading region in the brain, making the development of reading skills unpredictable, and the risk of dyslexia not insignificant.

Dyslexia symptoms in kids

Most dyslexics will exhibit several the following dyslexia symptoms, traits and behaviors in varying degrees day-to-day. The most consistent thing about dyslexics is their inconsistency.

Reading Related Dyslexia Symptoms
The most common signs of dyslexia appear in reading, such as:

  • Can be helped with a word on one page, but won't recognize it on the next.
  • Cannot sound out unknown words.
  • May insert, leave out or mix up letters, such as form-from, or star-stair.
  • Reads out loud in a slow, choppy, often monotonous cadence (not using prosody or natural emphasis).
  • Cannot read for long periods.
  • Misreads, omits or even adds words when reading.

Language Related Dyslexia Symptoms
It is a myth that dyslexia is a visual issue. There is a strong link between the abnormal development of spoken language and dyslexia. Here are some specific symptoms of dyslexia related to language:

  • Easily distracted by sounds or background noise.
  • Delayed speech in early life.
  • Difficulty with multi-step directions.
  • Difficulty putting thoughts into words or relating a story.

Learning Related Dyslexia Symptoms
These symptoms can indicate dyslexia if they are unexpected for the child's age.

  • Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
  • Cannot retain facts and information that has not been experienced.
  • Thinks primarily with images and feelings, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).
  • Often inattentive.

Dyslexia Symptoms in Behavior, Health, Development and Personality
Most dyslexic children will have at least 1-2 of these symptoms:

  • Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
  • Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
  • Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods and additives.
  • Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
  • Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.

Dyslexia symptoms in spelling

Spelling Related Dyslexia Symptoms
Dyslexia and spelling difficulties go hand in hand. Here are some classic symptoms indicative of dyslexia:

  • Difficulty with vowel sounds, often leaving them out.
  • Difficulty memorizing words for spelling tests.
  • Continually misspells non-phonetic but common words such as what, where, does and because.
  • Misspells even when copying something from the board or from a book.

At What Age Can You Call It Dyslexia?

Language is lightning fast, and so learning to read by matching the individual sounds in words to text can take a while to master. A dyslexia diagnosis should not be called too early in life, certainly not before 1st or 2nd grade.

Similarly, children cannot be declared "good readers" until they are reading at grade level in 6th or 7th grade. Only at that time are their reading skills tested. Some children fly under the radar until more complex reading comprehension requirements challenge inefficient decoding skills. Stay vigilant until your child enters high school.

Your Next Step

A Gemm Learning educational consultant can help you understand if your child's reading errors are random and normal. If you are unsure about the above dyslexia checklist, call for a free consult or ask your questions here.