Dyslexia Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of dyslexia differ from person to person.

Each individual with the condition will have a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses.

Adults Dyslexia Symptoms

Dyslexia Symptoms In Adults

The symptoms of dyslexia in older children and adults can include:

  • Poor spelling
  • Avoidance of reading and writing whenever possible
  • Difficulty planning and writing essays, letters, or reports
  • Difficulty revising for examinations
  • Trouble taking notes or copying from a board
  • Struggling to remember things such as a PIN or telephone number
  • Struggling to meet deadlines.

What To Do If You’re Experiencing Dyslexia Symptoms As An Adult

Here are some tips on what to do if you’re experiencing dyslexia symptoms as an adult:

  • Don’t struggle alone. Seek assessment and support even if you were not identified as dyslexic as a child. Dyslexia is a lifelong condition.
  • Speak with your GP and ask for a referral to an adult dyslexia specialist for testing and diagnosis. This can identify your particular strengths and weaknesses.
  • Look into assistive technology tools that can help with reading, writing, and organizing, like text-to-speech software, speech recognition, or mind-mapping apps.
  • Ask your employer about workplace assessments for neurodiverse conditions. Under the Equality Act, they must provide reasonable accommodations.
  • Request accommodations like audio formats, speech software, note takers, or extra time for tasks involving reading/writing.
  • Use local dyslexia charities for coaching, tutoring, and support groups to connect with other adults experiencing similar struggles.
  • Identify workarounds that enable you to showcase your abilities, not just compensate for text-based tasks.
  • Leverage your strengths creatively. Many successful entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators have dyslexia.
  • Remember, your value is not defined by grades or job titles. Focus on your talents and find your path.
  • Be kind to yourself. It takes courage to seek help. Action leads to empowerment.

While dyslexia brings challenges, the skills developed to manage it also confer many strengths.

With the proper identification, support, and accommodations, adults with dyslexia can achieve personal and professional success.

Childhood Dyslexia Symptoms

As with adults, the signs and symptoms of dyslexia differ from child to child.

Each individual with the condition will have a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses.

childhood dyslexia symptoms

Symptoms Of Dyslexia In Early Childhood (Pre-school)

In some cases, it’s possible to detect symptoms of dyslexia before a child starts school.

Symptoms can include:

  • Delayed speech development compared with other children of the same age (although this can have many different causes)
  • Speech problems, such as not being able to pronounce long words properly and “jumbling” up phrases (for example, saying “hecilopter” instead of “helicopter,” or “beddy tear” instead of “teddy bear”)
  • Problems expressing themselves using spoken language, such as being unable to remember the right word to use or putting sentences together incorrectly
  • Little understanding or appreciation of rhyming words, such as “the cat sat on the mat” or nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty with, or little interest in, learning letters of the alphabet.

Signs Of Dyslexia In Primary School Children

Symptoms of dyslexia usually become more obvious when children start school and begin to focus more on learning how to read and write.

Symptoms of dyslexia in children aged 5 to 12 include:

  • Trouble learning the names and sounds of letters
  • Spelling that’s unpredictable and inconsistent
  • Confusion over letters that look similar and putting letters the wrong way round (such as writing “b” instead of “d”)
  • Confusing the order of letters in words
  • Reading slowly or making errors when reading aloud
  • Answering questions well orally but having difficulty writing the answers down
  • Difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions
  • Struggling to learn sequences, such as days of the week or the alphabet
  • Slow writing speed
  • Poor handwriting
  • Problems copying written language and taking longer than normal to complete written work
  • Poor phonological awareness and word attack skills.

What To Do If You Notice Signs Of Dyslexia In Children

Here are some tips on what to do if you notice signs of dyslexia in a child:

  • Don’t wait, but act early instead. Dyslexia is most treatable in early primary school years whilst the brain is still developing connections for reading.
  • Note any early struggles with speech, rhyming, learning letters, phonics, or remembering the alphabet. These can indicate dyslexia even before reading begins.
  • Have the child’s hearing and vision tested to rule out sensory issues impacting learning.
  • Speak with the child’s teacher and school reading specialist about your concerns. Ask for monitoring and evaluation of reading progress.
  • Consult a psychologist or learning specialist for dyslexia testing. This can diagnose dyslexia and identify the child’s reading strengths and weaknesses.
  • Work cooperatively with the school to get an EHC plan (Education, Health, and Care plan) or 504 plan to establish accommodations and interventions to support the child’s learning.
  • Make reading fun with games, apps, audiobooks, and more creative methods. Build confidence and practise key skills.
  • Use multisensory techniques at home, like letter tiles or magnets, sand trays, movement, and reading aloud together.
  • Focus on the child’s gifts outside academics, like art, building, drama, or sports, to foster self-esteem.
  • Find role models – successful people with dyslexia in STEM, business, arts, and literature can inspire.
  • Be patient and celebrate small successes. Reading may take longer to master, but support sets the stage for achievement.

Early action, evaluation, and support provide children with dyslexia the best opportunity to become strong, confident readers.

If you believe you or your child may have dyslexia, book an online assessment or get in touch.