Signs of Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is one of many learning disabilities. It is a language-based disorder of constitutional origin characterized by difficulties in single and multi-word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities (this is where Lexias phonemic awareness sections come into play). These difficulties in single word decoding are often unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities; they are not the result of generalized developmental disability or sensory impairment. Dyslexia is manifest by variable difficulty with different forms of language, often including, in addition to problems reading, a conspicuous problem with acquiring proficiency in writing and spelling.

Who has Dyslexia?

Current studies suggest that 20-25% of the population has a reading disability or disadvantage. Of those, 85% have dyslexia. Dyslexia occurs in people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels. In addition, dyslexia runs in families; dyslexic parents are very likely to have children who are dyslexic.
Some people are identified as dyslexic early in their lives, but for others their dyslexia goes unidentified until they get older. People who are very bright can be dyslexic. They are often gifted in areas that do not require strong language skills, such as art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales, and sports.
It is widely thought that up to 40 percent of today’s entrepreneurs have Dyslexia. No one is immune from Dyslexia!

1.  Dyslexia has been shown to be clearly related to neuro-physiological differences in brain function. Dyslexic children learn differently because of these differences in brain function.

2.  Dyslexia is the leading cause of reading failure and school dropouts in our nation.

3.  Reading failure is the most commonly shared characteristic of juvenile justice offenders.

4.  Dyslexia affects as many boys as girls.

  5.  Of children who display reading problems in the first grade, 74% will be poor readers in the ninth grade and into adulthood unless they receive informed and explicit instruction on phonemic awareness.

6.  Early intervention is essential for this population. 

 7.  Research evidence does not support the use of "whole language" reading approaches to teach dyslexic children.

8.  Dyslexia is identifiable, with 92% accuracy, at ages 5 1/2 to 6 1/2.

9.  Children with both dyslexia and ADD are at dramatically increased risk for substance abuse and felony convictions if they do not receive appropriate interventions.   

10. Dyslexia is primarily due to linguistic and auditory deficits. We now know dyslexia is due to a difficulty processing language.

11.  Some forms of dyslexia are highly heritable.

12.  Reading failure caused by dyslexia is highly preventable through direct, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness.
Research evidence does not support the use of "whole language" reading approaches to teach dyslexic children.

13.  Dr Sherman of Harvard medical school has found three biological differences in the dyslexic brain. Although the right side of the brain is larger than others, the dyslexic brain has faulty bits in the magonocells and the cerebral cortex

14. Children do not mature out of their reading difficulties without intervention.

What are the usual signs of dyslexia?

The difficulties noted below are often associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual's age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. The problems displayed by individuals with dyslexia involve difficulties in acquiring and using language skills -- reading and writing letters in the wrong order is just one manifestation of dyslexia and does not occur in all cases (but does for the majority). Other problems experienced by dyslexics may include the following but not all students who have difficulties with these skills are dyslexic. Formal testing by a qualified diagnostician is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of suspected dyslexia (dyslexia is actually a medical term).

Common Signs of Dyslexia: Pre-School Children

1.  May talk later than most children.

2.  May have difficulty pronouncing words, i.e., "busgetti" for "spaghetti", "mawn lower" for "lawn mower".

3.  May be slow to add new vocabulary words.

4.  May be unable to recall the right word.

5.  May have difficulty with rhyming.

6.  May have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to spell and write his or her name.

7.  May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines.

8.  Fine motor skills may develop more slowly than in other children.

9.  May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence.

10.Often has difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words.

   Common Signs of Dyslexia: K to 4th Graders

1.  May have poor "fine motor" coordination.

2.  Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation).

3.  Has difficulty spelling phonetically.

4.  Makes consistent reading and spelling errors such as: 
Letter reversals - "d" for "b" as in: "dog" for "bog" 
Word reversals - "pat" for "tap" 
Inversions - "m" for "w," "u" for "n" 
Transpositions - "felt" for "left" 
Substitutions - "house" for "home"

5.  May confuse small words - "em" for "me," "sad" for "and," "does" for "goes."

6.  Relies on a lot of guessing and context.

7.  May have difficulty learning new vocabulary.

8.  May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (+ - x / =).

9.  May have trouble remembering facts.

10.May be slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorizing without understanding.

11.May have difficulty planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.
Often uses an awkward pencil grip (fist, thumb hoo ked over fingers, etc.).

12.May be slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds.

Common Signs of Dyslexia:  from 5th to 8th Graders

1.  May reverse the letter sequences - "soiled" for "solid," "left" for "felt."

2.  May be slow to discern sentences and to learn prefixes, suffixes, root -words, and other reading and spelling strategies that the parent may not be aware.

3.  May have difficulty spelling; spells same word differently on the same page.

4.  May avoid reading aloud (shyness).

5.  May have trouble with word problems in math or even just mathematics in general.

6.  May write with difficulty with bad handwriting; pencil grip is very awkward, fist-like or tight.

7.  May avoid writing alltogether.

 8.  May have difficulty with written composition (because the child insn't comprehending the meaning.).

9.  May have slow or poor recall of facts or memory.

10.May have difficulty with comprehension.

11.May have trouble wi th non-literal language (idioms, jokes, proverbs, slang)and keeping a train of thought.

12.May have difficulty with planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.

13.Is usually reading below grade level.

Common Signs of Dyslexia: High School and College Students and higher.

1.  Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing.

2.  May have trouble summarizing and outlining.

3.  May have difficulty learning.   

4.  May work slowly and may avoid reading and writing tasks. 

5.  May have difficulty with planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.

6.  May pay too little attention to details or focus too much on them.

7.  May misread simple information. 

8.  May have an inadequate vocabulary.

9.  May avoid reading and doing other tasks.

10.May have trouble answering open-ended questions. 

11 May read very slowly with many inaccuracies. 

12.May have an inadequate vocabulary and have problems learning a  foreign language. 

13.May have very poor memory skills. 


Lexia reading software addresses these issues. The sooner you  treat Dyslexia the better off the student will be in life! Click here to purchase Lexia now! And please contact us about our affordable one-on-one tutoring service! 
Basic Facts about Dyslexia: What Every Layperson Ought to Know - © Copyright 1993, 2nd edition 1998. The International Dyslexia Association, Baltimore, MD.