Dyslexic Achiever

"My father was an angry and impatient teacher and flung the reading book at my head."

W.B. Yeats
(Poet)

Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia


As no two individuals are alike, each dyslexic person is different and has individual strengths and weaknesses. It’s very important to know that:

  • Not everyone has all the symptoms
  • Not everyone has the same combination of symptoms
  • The symptoms come in varying degrees for different people
  • Not all symptoms are as obvious



Common Symptoms in Preschool Children:

  • May start talking later than most children
  • May have persistent baby talk
  • May lisp
  • May have difficulty expressing themselves
  • May have difficulty pronouncing words or expressing ideas clearly
  • May be unable to recall the right word
  • May have left-right confusion, and get confused in directional words, e.g. 'up-down' or 'in-out'
  • May have difficulty learning and remembering alphabet
  • May have difficulty in remembering names
  • May have difficulty learning rhymes
  • May have trouble interacting with peers
  • May have difficulty in listening and following directions
  • May have difficulty in identifying odd word out, e.g. 'cat mat pig fat'
  • May have difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words
  • May have difficulty telling and or retelling a story in the correct sequence
  • May be uncertain of which hand to use for eating
  • May be late in crawling or late in walking
  • Fine motor skills like tying shoes may develop slowly
  • May have the tendency to excessively trip, bump and fall over nothing
  • May experience obvious 'good' and 'bad' days for no apparent reason
  • May have family history of dyslexia problems

Caution:

It is developmentally normal for children to have some of the above symptoms and to reverse letters and words when they first learn to write. This normally disappears by 2nd grade.
Look for the pattern in symptoms, which are consistent across time and space. Existence of 1 or 2 random symptoms does not means one is dyslexic.




Common Symptoms at Kindergarten level:

  • May have difficulty in decoding single words in isolation
  • May be slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • May confuse small words - at - to, said - and, does – goes
  • May have difficulty remembering ‘sight’ words - is, was, the, on
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors which include:
    • Inversions - m for w, u for n
    • Substitutions - house for home
    • Letter reversals - d for b as in, dog for bog
    • Word reversals - top for pot, was for saw, bird for drib
    • Transpositions - felt and left, sing-sign; left-felt; soiled-solid; 12-21
  • May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (+ - x / =)
  • May have trouble remembering facts
  • May be slow to learn new skills
  • May rely heavily on memorizing without understanding
  • May be impulsive and prone to accidents
  • May have difficulty planning
  • May use an awkward pencil grip
  • May have trouble learning to tell time
  • May have poor fine motor coordination, therefore may have messy handwriting
  • May have poor sense of time or space: before and after, left and right, months and days
  • May skips words in a sentence and doesn't stop to self-correct
  • May frequently guess at unknown words rather than sound them out
  • May have problem remembering words; sounds out the same word every time it occurs on the page
  • May misinterpret given directions
  • May have confusion about right or left handedness
  • May see letters all jumbled up and out of order or as all bunched together

Caution:

Look for the pattern in symptoms which are consistent across time and space. Existence of 1 or 2 random symptoms does not means one is dyslexic.
To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified professional.




Common Symptoms from second grade onwards:

  • May mispronounce long or unfamiliar words
  • May restore to fracturing of words i.e leaving out parts of words or confusing the order of the parts of words; for example, aluminum becomes amulium
  • May guess read a word
  • May read in choppy and labored manner
  • May have difficulty copying accurately from blackboard or textbook
  • May have difficulty taking down oral instructions
  • May pause or hesitate often when speaking, lots of um's will be noticed during speech
  • May use imprecise language, such as vague references to stuff or things instead of the proper name of an object
  • May need time to summon a response or the inability to come up with a verbal response quickly when questioned
  • May have difficulty in remembering isolated pieces of verbal information such as trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, and random lists
  • The lack of a strategy to read new words
  • The inability to read small ‘sight’ words such as that, an, in
  • May have fear of reading out loud
  • May read with letter and word substitutions, omissions, and mispronunciations
  • May read with lacks of inflection which makes it sound like the reading of a foreign language
  • May be unable to finish tests on time
  • May have low self-esteem

Caution:

Look for the pattern in symptoms which are consistent across time and space. Existence of 1 or 2 random symptoms does not means one is dyslexic.
To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified professional.




Common Symptoms at Middle School level:

  • May read below class level
  • May reverse letter sequences
  • May be slow to discern and to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other reading and spelling strategies
  • May have difficulty spelling and spells same word differently on the same page
  • May avoid reading aloud
  • May have trouble with word problems in math
  • May write with difficulty with illegible handwriting
  • May have awkward pencil grip
  • May avoid writing
  • May have slow or poor recall of facts
  • May have difficulty with comprehension
  • May have difficulty making friends
  • May not understand body language and facial expressions of others
  • May have trouble with non-literal language (idioms, jokes, proverbs, slang)
  • May forget to hand in homework or to bring in homework
  • May have difficulty with planning and time management
  • Put figures or letters the wrong way e.g. 15 for 51, 6 for 9, b for d
  • May have difficulty in learning the multiplication tables
  • May have trouble remembering sequences such as the days of the week and months of the year
  • May spell a word several different ways without recognizing the correct version
  • May have a poor concentration span for reading and writing
  • May have difficulty understanding time and tense
  • May have continued difficulty with shoelaces, ball catching, and skipping
  • May answer questions orally but have difficulty writing the answer
  • May be unusually clumsy
  • May display frustration, possibly leading to behavioral problems

Caution:

Look for the pattern in symptoms which are consistent across time and space. Existence of 1 or 2 random symptoms does not means one is dyslexic.
To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified professional.




Common Symptoms at High School level:

  • May read very slowly with many inaccuracies
  • May continue to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
  • May procrastinate reading and writing tasks
  • May avoid writing
  • May write in cramped, rushed or sloppy manner
  • May have trouble summarizing and outlining
  • May have trouble answering open-ended questions on tests
  • May have poor memory skills
  • May not adjust well to new settings or to change
  • May work unusually slow
  • May have poor grasp of abstract concepts
  • May pay too little attention to details or focus too much on them
  • May misread information
  • May have difficulty remembering names of people and places
  • May be hesitant in speaking and finding appropriate word
  • May have difficulty organizing ideas to write
  • May display inability to recall numbers in proper sequences (as in phone numbers)
  • May not complete assignments; may complete them and not hand them in
  • May have an inadequate vocabulary required to understand a particular subject
  • May have an inadequate store of knowledge from previous reading
  • May have difficulty with planning and time management
  • Continues to have difficulty discriminating between and among words with multiple meaning and words that sound alike but are spelled differently: one-won, I-eye, hole-whole
  • May continue to have difficulty with concepts of time
  • May lack study skills, time management, test-taking strategies, note-taking and outlining strategies
  • May have trouble learning a foreign language
  • May have lack of reading comprehension
  • May have difficulty copying accurately from blackboard or textbook
  • May have difficulty taking down oral instructions
  • May show growing lack of self-confidence and increasing frustration
  • May be unable to organize written work
  • May be ashamed to admit they need assistance and become angry with themselves

Caution:

Look for the pattern in symptoms which are consistent across time and space. Existence of 1 or 2 random symptoms does not means one is dyslexic.
To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified professional.




Common Symptoms in Adults:

  • May hide their reading problems
  • May spell poorly relying heavily on others
  • May avoid writing
  • May be working well below their intellectual capacity
  • May have difficulty with planning and organization
  • May have difficulty with time; often too early, late or forgets appointments
  • May have difficulty in remembering names of people and places
  • May have difficulty finding appropriate word
  • May have lowered self-esteem due to past frustrations and failures
  • May have poor ability to find way around and trouble finding car in parking lot
  • May have difficulty reading and spelling words with multiple syllables, often omitting entire syllables as well as making single sound errors
  • May show lack of awareness of word structure (prefixes, roots, suffixes)
  • May frequently misreads common sight words -where, there, what, then, when etc
  • May spell disastrously and prefer less complicated words in writing that are easier to spell
  • May have spoken vocabulary that is smaller than listening vocabulary, and hesitation to say aloud words that might be mispronounced
  • May avoid study groups or delivering a written speech
  • May have trouble reading and pronouncing uncommon, strange, or unique words such as people's names, street or location names, food dishes on a menu etc
  • May experience failure in recognizing already introduced term or word when it is seen again or heard in a lecture the next day
  • May show preference for books with figures, charts or graphics

Caution:

Look for the pattern in symptoms which are consistent across time and space. Existence of 1 or 2 random symptoms does not means one is dyslexic.
To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified professional.