Dyslexia, a common learning difficulty, primarily affects the ability to read and spell.
Contrary to common misconception, dyslexia isn’t linked to intelligence, and those with dyslexia are equally as intelligent as their peers.
Understanding dyslexia in children, especially those under 10, is crucial as early identification can lead to better support strategies.
In this article, we will explore the main signs of dyslexia in children under this age bracket and discuss the appropriate age for diagnosis.
Understanding Dyslexia In Children
Dyslexia in children is often misunderstood. It’s not just about jumbling letters or reading backwards. It’s a specific learning difficulty that affects how the brain processes written and spoken language.
While it’s most commonly associated with literacy skills – reading, writing, and spelling – it can also impact memory, organisational skills, and time management.
Dyslexia varies in severity and manifests differently in each individual, making it a complex condition to identify and understand, particularly in children.
Below, we’ll help you identify the common signs so you know what to look out for with your own children.
Dyslexia Symptoms In Children Under 10
Identifying dyslexia symptoms in children under 10 can be challenging, as they may not be readily apparent.
However, there are key signs to look out for:
Struggling with reading is one of the most noticeable signs of dyslexia.
Children may read below the expected level for their age, have difficulty understanding what they read, or avoid reading activities.
They may also read slowly and without fluency, often losing their place or skipping words.
Spelling And Writing Difficulties
Children might have inconsistent spelling, confusing letters that look similar, or find it hard to put their ideas on paper.
This can include reversing or mixing up letters and numbers, difficulty in copying from the board, and slow or laborious writing.
Delayed speech development or difficulty in learning new words can be an early sign of dyslexia.
This may include mispronouncing words, struggling to retrieve the correct word in conversation, or not following multi-step directions.
Difficulty In Following Sequences
Children with dyslexia might struggle to follow sequences or remember the order of things.
This can manifest in difficulties with math, such as understanding sequences of numbers, remembering the days of the week, or the months of the year.
Problems With Time Management And Organisation
This might include difficulty in learning to tell the time, managing daily tasks, or organising thoughts coherently.
They may also struggle with keeping track of time and might frequently be late.
It’s worth bearing in mind that number-related difficulties could also be an indication of dyscalculia – you can learn more about it here.
Difficulty In Differentiating Letters And Sounds
Children may have trouble associating letters with their corresponding sounds, which is crucial for reading and spelling.
Issues With Left And Right
Children with dyslexia might have difficulty understanding and remembering the concepts of left and right.
This can impact their ability to follow directions or participate in activities that require this understanding.
Some children with dyslexia report experiencing visual disturbances when reading.
Text might appear to move, blur, or form patterns, which can make reading a frustrating experience.
Auditory Processing Difficulties
Difficulty in processing auditory information can be a sign of dyslexia in children under 10
They might find it hard to distinguish between similar sounds or to understand spoken instructions, especially in a noisy environment.
Difficulty With Comprehension
Understanding what they have read or heard can be challenging for children with this learning difficulty.
This can result in apparent inattention or misunderstanding of instructions and questions.
It’s crucial to understand that not all children will exhibit all these signs, and the presence of one or two doesn’t necessarily indicate dyslexia.
The key is the persistence and severity of these signs and how they impact the child’s learning and daily activities.
See also: Does Dyslexia Affect Speech?
Getting A Diagnosis: What Is The Best Age To Test For Dyslexia?
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to the best age for dyslexia testing, but early intervention is crucial.
Generally, the signs become more apparent when children start schooling and are exposed to reading and writing.
Around 5-7 years of age can be an appropriate time to seek a professional assessment if there are concerns.
However, it’s never too late to get diagnosed.
What To Do If You Spot Dyslexia Symptoms In Your Child
Book An Assessment
The first step is to get a formal diagnosis.
You can arrange an assessment with a dyslexia specialist, just like us.
At Simply Thrive, we are experienced in assessing people of all ages for dyslexia and other conditions.
While an assessment may feel scary, it’s really nothing to worry about. Obtaining a diagnosis can help to unlock additional support for your child.
We’ve created a guide here to show you how to get a dyslexia diagnosis.
Seek Additional Support
Once you have an official diagnosis, you can work with your child’s school to help make their learning journey easier.
Your school can make certain adaptations to support your little one in the classroom, and you can then focus on continuing the hard work at home.
Additional support may include extra time for tasks and tests, using technology, or changing the way information is presented – all of which can make a huge difference to your child.
Our Final Word
Understanding and identifying dyslexia early in a child’s life can profoundly impact their learning journey.
It’s about providing the right support and strategies to help them overcome challenges and harness their strengths.
Parents and teachers play a vital role in this, and with the right support, children with dyslexia can thrive both academically and socially.
Remember, dyslexia is a difference, not a deficit, and with the appropriate support, children with dyslexia can achieve great success.
To talk to us about our dyslexia assessments, call 01633 439 220 or contact us here.
If you’re ready to book an assessment, follow this link.