Indications of Dyslexia

Based on statements in the British Dyslexia Association Publication


Preschool Stage (Under 5 Years)

  • Persistent jumbled phrases. eg. ‘cobblers club’ for ‘toddler’s club’.
  • Use of substitute words. eg. ‘lampshade’ for ‘lamppost’.
  • Inability to remember the label for known objects. eg. ‘chair’, ‘car’, ‘table’.
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes and rhyming words. eg. ‘cat, hat, sat, mat’.
  • Later than expected speech development.
  • May have walked early, but did not crawl and was a ‘bottom shuffler’ or ‘tummy wriggler’.
  • Persistent difficulties in getting dressed efficiently and putting shoes on the correct feet.
  • Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in letters or words.
  • Is often accused of not listening or paying attention.
  • Excessive tripping, bumping into things, falling over.
  • Difficulty with catching, kicking or throwing a ball; with hopping and/or skipping.
  • Difficulty with clapping a simple rhythm, and ‘hearing’ the rhythm in language.

Primary School / Intermediate Stage (5-11 Years)

  • Difficulty with reading and spelling.
  • Puts letters and figures around the wrong way.
  • Leaves letters out of words or puts them in the wrong order.
  • Still occasionally confuses ‘b’ and ‘d’ and words such as ‘no’ ‘on’, ‘saw’ ‘was’.
  • Still has difficulty with rhyme.
  • Lack of phonological awareness and cannot ‘hear’ sounds in letters / words.
  • Still needs fingers or marks to make simple calculations.
  • Difficulty learning timetables and basic number facts.
  • Poor concentration, forgetful, poor organisation.
  • Has difficulty understanding what he/she has read.
  • Takes a long time to complete written work.
  • Slow at processing language and when listening, writing, reading.
  • Difficulty with dressing, tying shoe laces and other things involving coordination.
  • Surprises you because in other ways he/she is bright / alert.
  • Has very good oral comprehension and can show good knowledge when talking about some things.
  • Has a poor sense of direction and still confuses left and right.
  • Has difficulty learning analogue time.

Intermediate / College (12 Years +)

Same as primary school, plus;

  • Still reads slowly and has difficulty with reading.
  • Still has difficulty with spelling.
  • Needs to have instructions and telephone numbers repeated.
  • Difficulty with pronouncing long words.
  • Disorganised, confuses places, times, dates.
  • Has difficulty understanding (processing) complex language or long instructions / explanations.
  • Has difficulty understanding and meeting the requirements of assignments.
  • Has areas of strength as well as weaknesses.

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