Recognizing Dyslexia

by Mary, a homeschooling mom

Fifteen to twenty percent of the population has a reading disability. Of students with specific learning disabilities who receive special education services, 70-80% have deficits in reading. Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties.

If children who are dyslexic get effective phonological training in kindergarten and first grade, they will have significantly fewer problems in learning to read at grade level than do children who are not identified or helped until third grade. 74% of the children who were poor readers in the third grade remained poor readers in the ninth grade. This means that they couldn't read well when they became adults.

Individuals inherit the genetic links for dyslexia. Dyslexia affects males and females nearly equally, and people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as well.

Symptoms of Dyslexia in the Preschooler

  • May talk later than most children
  • May have difficulty pronouncing words -- busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawnmower
  • May be slow to add new vocabulary words
  • May be unable to recall the right word
  • May have difficulty with rhyming
  • May have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to spell and write his or her name
  • May have trouble interacting with peers
  • May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines
  • Fine motor skills may develop more slowly than in other children
  • May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence
  • Often has difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words

Attributes of Dyslexia for Kindergarten through Fourth Grade

  • Has difficulty decoding single words. (reading 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
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including:
    • Letter reversals - d for b as in, dog for bog
    • Word reversals - tip for pit
    • Inversions - m and w, u and n
    • Transpositions - felt and left
    • Substitutions - house and home
  • May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (+ - x / =)
  • May have trouble remembering facts
  • May be slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorizing without understanding
  • May be impulsive and prone to accidents
  • May have difficulty planning
  • Often uses an awkward pencil grip (fist, thumb hooked over fingers, etc.)
  • May have trouble learning to tell time
  • May have poor fine motor coordination

The following websites have additional information. LD Online has information on learning disorders including reading disorders and dsylexia.

Dyslexia, the Gift is a site that looks at postive sides of dyslexia. Children who are dyslexic are creative, intuitive and multi-dimensional thinkers. But because they think in pictures, they will sometimes have difficulties decoding letters, numbers, symbols, and written words.

Another site I use is The Dyslexia Teacher. I am a former reading teacher. This is their synopsis on it:

Q. What are the signs of dyslexia in a child?
A. The easiest to signal to spot is a discrepancy between a child's intelligence and their actual achievement. If a pupil appears to speak and listen normally, yet they are unable to read and spell, then dyslexia may be a possibility. Some of the well-known symptoms of dyslexia are:

  • Confusion over the direction letters face (b/d, p/9, p/q)
  • Difficulties with left and right
  • Difficulties with keeping organized
  • Difficulties with spelling
  • Difficulties with directions (e.g. east and west)
  • Missing out words when reading

If you think your child may be dyslexic and you are interested in various screening or comprehensive tests, information is available at The Dyslexia Online Magazine.

by Mary, a homeschooling mom

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