Early Signs of Dyslexia
The following indicators may suggest that your child has a Specific Learning Difficulty (SLD) such as dyslexia.
However, many young children may display these signs, and so they should not be taken as a screening list or proof of the presence of dyslexia.
Early signs may include:
Speech Sound Awareness:
- Has difficulty learning nursery rhymes or song lyrics that rhyme
- Doesn’t easily recognise that words begin with the same sound
- Has difficulty counting the syllables in spoken words
- Has problem clapping hands or tapping feet in rhythm with songs and/or rhymes
- Has trouble learning letter names and remembering the sounds they make
- Often confuses letters that look similar (like b, d, p, and q) or sound similar (like f and v, b and p, or d and t)
Word Recognition and Writing:
- Struggles to read familiar words (like cat), especially if there aren’t pictures
- Substitutes words when reading aloud, like saying house when the story says home
- Has trouble separating the individual sounds in words and blending sounds to make a word
- Has trouble remembering how words are spelled and applying spelling rules in writing
- Has difficulty retrieving a specific word (e.g. calls a sheep a “goat” or says, “you know, a woolly animal”)
- Shows poor memory for classmates’ names
- Speech is hesitant, filled with pauses or vocalisations (e.g. “um”, “you know”)
- Frequently uses words lacking specificity (e.g. “stuff”, “thing”, “what you call it”)
- Has problems remembering/ retrieving verbal sequences (e.g. days of the week, alphabet)
- Has trouble remembering sequences, like singing the letters of the alphabet
- Has difficulty remembering instructions or directions with multiple steps
- Shows problems learning names of people or places
- Has difficulty remembering the words to songs or poems
- Has difficulty telling stories that are hard to follow or having trouble talking about an event in a logical order
- Has problems saying common words with difficult sound patterns (e.g. animal, cinnamon, specific)
- Mispronounces words, like saying ‘beddy tear’ instead of ‘teddy Confuses a similar sounding word with another word (e.g. ‘the Entire strikes back’
- Combines sound patterns of similar words (e.g. saying “excavator” for escalator)
- Shows frequent slips of the tongue (e.g. saying “brue blush” for “blue brush”)
- Has difficulty with tongue twisters (e.g. she sells seashells)
General problems experienced by people suffering with dyslexia may include:
- Organising written and spoken language
- Memorising number facts
- Reading quickly enough to comprehend
- Keeping up with and comprehending longer reading assignments
- Learning a foreign language
- Correctly doing maths operations
- Working memory
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