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Symptoms of Dyslexia

Other Diseases By Dr Poonam Sachdev , Expert Content / Sep 20, 2011
Symptoms of Dyslexia

Dyslexia Signs and Symptoms - Symptoms of Dyslexia are divided in phases, the before school phase, the after school phase, and there are differences in the symptoms between teens and adults.

Symptoms of dyslexia can vary considerably from person to person. Two people with dyslexia can have noticeably different presentation, symptoms and unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Signs and symptoms of dyslexia usually start in early childhood but it can be difficult to diagnose the disorder before your child enters school. However, there are several early symptoms which may indicate a problem.


Before school


Signs and symptoms which indicate that your child may be at risk of dyslexia include:

  • Delayed speech which can typically mean that the child talks late or very less when compared to other children of the same age.
  • Speech problems such as difficulty in pronouncing words properly and ‘jumbling’ up phrases. For example, saying ‘beddy tear’ instead of ‘teddy bear’.
  • Difficulty in learning new words or learning them slowly.
  • Difficulty in rhyming or appreciating rhyming words, such as ‘the cat sat on the mat’.
  • Difficulty in using spoken language to express. Being unable to remember the right word to use, or the right words to make a sentence.
  • Difficulty in learning the letters of the alphabet.


School age


At school, the teacher may notice a problem even though s/he may not be able to diagnose if the child has dyslexia. But this indicates that the child should have further assessment done by a child psychologist or other health professional in order diagnose the underlying disorder. Symptoms usually become more apparent as the child grows older. Symptoms which indicate your child may have dyslexia include:

  • Poor reading ability when compared to other children of the same age.
  • Difficulty in understanding what he or she hears.
  • Difficulty in understanding rapid instructions.
  • Difficulty in understanding and following more than one command at a time.
  • Difficulty in remembering the sequence of things.
  • Difficulty in recognising (and occasionally hearing) similarities and differences in letters and words such as d and b, p and d beyond first grade.
  • Difficulty in repeating and pronouncing unfamiliar word.
  • Seeing letters or words in reverse (such as "b" for "d" or "saw" for "was,"). Normally young children may have similar problems but it is more pronounced in children with dyslexia.
  • Difficulty in remembering spelling.
  • Trouble learning a new language.


Teens and adults


Symptoms of dyslexia may at times not be recognised in children and hence these people may continue to have the problem in their teens and even as adults. The symptoms in teens and adults are almost similar to those in children. Although intervention at a younger age improves outcome, it is never too late to start treatment for dyslexia. The common symptoms of dyslexia in teens and adults include:

  • Difficulty in reading. They may try to avoid reading and writing if possible.
  • Trouble understanding jokes or idioms.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Poor spelling (difficulty in remembering spelling).
  • Trouble managing time and work.
  • Trouble in remembering story.
  • Difficulty learning a new language.
  • Difficulty memorising.

Dyslexia is a common learning disability in children. If you think that your child’s reading and learning skills are delayed as compared to his age, consult a health professional. Treatment does not cure dyslexia but it can improve the outcome. It can prevent the problems associated with frustration due to learning disabilities such as depression, low self-esteem and behavioural problems.


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