Signs and symptoms of dyslexia

Dyslexia has several symptoms and signs, but not every dyslexic has them all. In fact, most have only a few of them, and not everyone has the same ones or in the same degree. Therefore, each dyslexic is different.

The signs/symptoms are listed by age, however some stay throughout life. It just happens that some learn to camouflage them.

Early signs

  • Clumsy in some respect but surprisingly good at manipulating certain things like Lego, etc
  • Aptitude for constructional or technical toys, e.g. bricks, puzzles, remote control, keyboards, ...
  • Still having difficulty in dressing, e.g. clothes in the wrong order
  • Uncertain of which hand to use for eating
  • Late in crawling or did not crawl, was a 'bottom shuffler' and/or late in walking
  • Excessive tripping, bumping and falling over nothing
  • Obvious 'good' and 'bad' days for no apparent reason
  • Quick 'thinker' and 'doer
  • Difficulty with 'sequence'
  • Unable to remember or carrying out two or more instructions in sequence
  • Confused letter order of words such as 'Par Cark' for car park, cobbler's club' for 'toddler's club', 'teddy-dare' for 'teddy-bear'
  • Finds difficulty with rhyming words, e.g. 'cat mat fat', to remember nursery rhymes, and having difficulty in clapping or moving rhythm
  • Late in learning to talk or speak clearly
  • A lisp - 'duckth' for 'ducks'
  • Inability to remember names of objects, mislabel them, and confusing names of objects or make use of substitute words
  • Confused directional words, e.g. 'up/down' or 'in/out'
  • Finds difficulty with odd-one-out, e.g. 'cat mat pig fat'
  • Enhanced creativity - often good at drawing - good sense of color - seeks solutions – try to use or do things different
  • Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in letters or words
  • Appears 'bright' - seems an enigma
  • Anyone else in the family with similar difficulties and/or family history of dyslexia problems.

Ages 7 - 11

  • Some difficulties with reading or spelling
  • Put figures or letters the wrong way e.g. 15 for 51, 6 for 9, b for d
  • Read a word then fail to recognize it further down the page
  • Difficulty learning the alphabet and multiplication tables
  • Remembering sequences such as the days of the week and months of the year
  • Spell a word several different ways without recognizing the correct version
  • Have a poor concentration span for reading and writing
  • Have difficulty understanding time and tense
  • Continued difficulty with shoelaces, and ball catching, skipping
  • Answer questions orally but have difficulty writing the answer
  • Unusually clumsy
  • Have trouble with sounds in words, e.g. poor sense of rhyme
  • Inattention and poor concentration
  • Confuse left and right
  • Frustration, possibly leading to behavioral problems

Age 9 - 12

  • Continued mistakes in reading, or a lack of reading comprehension
  • Strange spelling, e.g. letters missed out or in the wrong order
  • Taking an above average time over written work
  • Disorganization at home and at school
  • Difficulty copying accurately from blackboard or textbook
  • Difficulty taking down oral instructions
  • Growing lack of self-confidence and increasing frustration.

Ages 12 and adult

  • Have difficulty taking notes or copying
  • Difficulty with planning and writing essays, letters, and reports
  • Tendency to read inaccurately, or without comprehension
  • Inconsistent spelling
  • Tendency to confuse verbal instructions
  • Confuse phone numbers
  • Severe difficulty with learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty with perception of spoken language, e.g. following instructions, listening comprehension
  • Low self-esteem.