Warning Signs of Dyslexia

If a child has three or more of the following warning signs, encourage that child's parents & teachers to learn more about dyslexia.

In Pre-school - Primary school

  • Delayed speech.
  • Mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words.
  • Chronic ear infections.
  • Severe reactions to childhood illnesses.
  • Constant confusion of left versus right.
  • Late establishing a dominant hand.
  • Difficulty learning to tie shoe laces.
  • Trouble memorising their address, phone number, or the alphabet.
  • Can't create words that rhyme.
  • A close relative with dyslexia.

In Intermediate School

  • Dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read).
  • Letter or number reversals continuing past the end of primary school.
  • Extreme difficulty learning cursives.
  • Slow, choppy, inaccurate reading - guesses based on shape or context - skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of) - ignores suffixes - can't sound out unknown words.
  • Terrible spelling.
  • Often can't remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they're, and there).
  • Difficulty telling time with a clock with hands.
  • Trouble with math - memorising multiplication tables - memorising a sequence of steps - directionality.
  • When speaking, difficulty finding the correct word - lots of "whatyamacallits" and "thingies" - common sayings come out slightly twisted.
  • Extremely messy bedroom, backpack and desk.
  • Dreads going to school - complains of stomach aches or headaches - may have nightmares about school.

In College - All of the above symptoms plus:

  • Limited vocabulary.
  • Extremely poor written expression - large discrepancy between verbal skills and written compositions.
  • Unable to master a foreign language.
  • Difficulty reading printed music.
  • Poor grades in many classes.
  • May drop out of college.

In College & Adults - Education history similar to above, plus.

  • Slower reader.
  • May have to read a page two or three times to understand it.
  • Terrible speller.
  • Difficulty putting thoughts onto paper - dreads writing memos or letters.
  • Still has difficulty with right verses left.
  • Often gets lost, even in a familiar city.
  • Sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick.

Warning Signs of ADD/ADHD

Physical Activity
Either; can't sit still, feels restless, has boundless energy, always fidgeting, restless feet, etc.
Couch potato, lethargic, slow, space cadet, physically there - mentally gone.

Frequent Mood Swings
Feels emotions intensely, higher highs and lower lows, low tolerance for frustration, may have rage attacks.

Trouble deciding what to pay attention to, what's most important, trouble getting started on a task, often feels overwhelmed, trouble staying focused on repetitive tasks until the task is complete, can't do homework independently, trouble shifting attention to a new task.

Highly Distractible
Have difficulty screening out distracting stimuli in the environment when attempting to attend to task.