What is Dyslexia?
In simple terms, dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read, write, and spell in spite of normal intelligence and adequate instruction. It is caused by the brain's inability to process information received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. It does not mean that these students are lazy, or not trying hard, or not intelligent. It just means that they need to be taught in a different way.
Warning Signs of Dyslexia
A person with dyslexia will have 3 or more of the following warning signs.
- Delayed speech - not talking at all by 1 year
- Mixing up the sounds or syllables in long words such as "aminal" or "busketti"
- Constant confusion of left versus right
- Late establishing a dominant hand
- Difficulty learning to tie shoes
- Trouble memorizing address, phone number, or the alphabet
- Can't create words that rhyme
In Elementary School:
- Dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)
- Letter or number reversals continuing past first grade
- Extreme difficulty learning cursive
- 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, there)
- Difficulty telling time on a clock with hands
- Trouble with math: memorizing multiplication tables, memorizing a sequence of steps, directionality
- Extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk
- Dreads going to school, complains of stomach aches or headaches, nightmares about school
- A close relative with dyslexia - the biggest warning sign of all
In High School and Beyond:
- Limited vocabulary
- Difficulty putting thoughts onto paper, dreads writing papers, memos, and letters
- Unable to master a foreign language
- Difficulty reading printed music
- May have to read a page 2 or 3 times to understand it
- Terrible spelling
- Still has difficulty with left versus right
- Often gets lost, even in a familiar city
- Sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick
- Poor grades in many classes
- May drop out of high school
Ready to find out more?
Watch Susan Barton's video, "Dyslexia: Symptoms and Solutions"