What is Dyslexia?

According to the Decoding Dyslexia Healthcare Screening, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.  It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.”  Dyslexia affect 1 in 5 people.

-Decoding Dyslexia Healthcare Screening Packet

Common Signs of Dyslexia

These are the most common signs of dyslexia. Keep in mind that this might be symptoms that your child currently has or has had in the past.  As you go through this list think about whether the symptom never occurs, occasionally occurs, or is one you consistently notice.

  • Delay speech development
  • Family member with reading difficulties.   Who? (e.i., brother, sister, parent)
  • Slow to add new words to their vocabulary
  • Difficulty with rhyming
  • Delayed speech development, articulation issues
  • Difficulty following directions, especially more than two-step directions
  • Difficulty pronouncing words that have multiple syllables.
  • Messes up the names of familiar people; places; objects- word-finding difficulties.
  • Difficulty remembering sequences like the days of the week, months of the year, yesterday/tomorrow, and sequences of numbers.
  • Diagnosed with ADD or ADHD
  • Difficulty making connections between sounds and letters
  • Difficulty recognizing words that begin with same sound (verbalized)
  • Difficulty clapping their hands to the rhythm of a beat
  • Difficulty with directionality (up/down, front/back, right/left)
  • Switching handedness when coloring, drawing or writing
  • Difficulty learning to write (writing letters or words backwards is not a sign until after 1st grade).
  • Difficulty learning to tie shoe laces
  • Difficulty with hearing and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness)
  • Difficulty distinguishing different sounds in words (phonological processing)
  • Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters (phonics)
  • Difficulty remembering names and shapes of letters, or naming letters rapidly
  • Inserts extra letters in a word when spelling.  For example, he or she may write “tail” as “trail.”  The misspelled word often has the same beginning and ending letter.
  • Deletes letters in a word when spelling.  For example, he or she may write “tee” instead of “tree”  Again the misspelled word often has the same beginning and ending letter.
  • Switches the order of letters in a word.  For example, may write “speical “ instead of “special.”
  • Has difficulty copying words from another paper or the board.
  • Copies letter by letter referring to the original copy for almost every letter
  • Messy papers, including many crossed-out or erased words.
  • Misspells many common words such as “what,”  “said,” and “was”
  • May be able to spell the words on a spelling test after much studying, but then misspells the same words outside of spelling class.
  • Limited vocabulary.


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