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Signs of Dyslexia


  • Trouble learning common nursery rhymes

  • Difficulty learning (and remembering) the names of letters in the alphabet

  • Seems to be unable to recognize letters in his/her own name

  • Mispronounces familiar words

  • Doesn’t recognize rhyming words

Kindergarten/First Grade 


  • Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters on the page—will say “puppy” instead of the written word “dog” in an illustrated page with a dog shown

  • Does not understand that words come apart

  • Complains about how hard reading is, or “disappearing” when it is time to read

  • A history of reading problems in parents or siblings


  • Cannot sound out even simple words

  • Does not associate letters with sounds

Second Grade and Up


  • Very slow in acquiring reading skills 

  • Reading is slow and awkward

  • Trouble reading unfamiliar words, often making wild guesses because he cannot sound out the word.

  • Doesn’t have a strategy for reading new words

  • Avoids reading out loud


  • Pauses, hesitates, and/or uses lots of “umm’s” when speaking

  • Confuses words that sound alike

  • Mispronunciation of long, unfamiliar, or complicated words

  • Seems to need extra time to respond to questions

School and Life

  • Trouble with remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, random lists

  • Has trouble finishing tests on time

  • Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language

  • Messy handwriting

  • Low self-esteem that may not be immediately visible

Young Adults and Adults


  • A childhood history of reading and spelling difficulties

  • While reading skills have developed over time, reading still requires great effort and is done at a slow pace

  • Rarely reads for pleasure

  • Slow reading of most materials—books, manuals, subtitles in films

  • Avoids reading aloud


  • Not fluent

  • Often anxious while speaking

  • Pausing or hesitating often when speaking

  • Using lots of “umm's” during speaking

  • Using imprecise language, for example, “stuff,” “things,” instead of the proper name of an object

  • Often pronounces the names of people and places incorrectly; trips over parts of words

  • Difficulty remembering names of people and places; confuses names that sound alike

  • Struggles to retrieve words

  • Rarely has a fast response in conversations and/or writing

  • Spoken vocabulary is smaller than listening vocabulary

  • Avoids saying words that might be mispronounced

  • Earlier oral language difficulties persist

School & Life

  • Despite good grades, will often feel "dumb."

  • Difficulty with multiple choice tests

  • Sacrifices social life for studying

  • Suffers extreme fatigue when reading

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