How to spot pre-dyslexia

Technically, you can only diagnose dyslexia at 9 years old, when a child’s reading ability is two years behind his or her peers. But by that time, often, you’re looking at a kid who has already failed  Grade 1  and whose confidence has taken the kind of knock he or she may never fully recover from.

So how do you spot a pre-dyslexic kid?
If your child is exhibiting a bunch of these symptoms, you should probably start reading up on dyslexia and seeing how you can begin understand how he or she’s little mind is working.

Your child’s written work is...

  • poor when compared with oral ability
  • messy with lots of crossings out
  • often confuses letters which look similar, particularly b/d, p/g, p/q, n/u, m/w
  • many 'reversals' and badly formed letters
  • has the same word spelt several different ways
  • makes anagrams of words eg tired for tried, breaded for bearded
  • produces badly set-out written work, doesn't stay close to the margin.

When reading, he or she...

  • makes poor reading progress
  • finds it difficult to blend letters together into sounds has difficulty in establishing syllable division or knowing the beginnings and endings of words.
  • is hesitant and laboured in reading, especially when reading aloud
  • misses out words when reading, or adds extra words
  • fails to recognise familiar words
  • loses the point of a story being read or written
  • has difficulty in picking out the most important points from a passage
When dealing with numbers, he or she...

  • shows confusion with number order eg units, tens, hundreds
  • is confused by symbols, such as + and x signs
  • has difficulty remembering anything in a sequential order eg tables, days of the week, the alphabet

When dealing with time, he or she...

  • is having difficulty in learning to tell the time
  • shows poor time keeping and general awareness
  • has poor personal organisation
  • has difficulty in remembering:
  •       what day of the week it is,
  •       his or her birth date
  •       seasons
  •       months of the year
Skill-wise, your child...

  • has poor motor skills, leading to weaknesses in the speed, control and accuracy of the pencil
  • has a limited understanding of non-verbal communication
  • is confused by the difference between left and right
  • has indeterminate hand preference
  • performs unevenly from day to day

  • employs work avoidance tactics, such as sharpening pencils and looking for books
  • seems to 'dream', does not seem to listen
  • is easily distracted
  • is the class clown, or is disruptive or withdrawn (these are often cries for help)
  • is excessively tired, due to the amount of concentration and effort required

Sounds familiar? You may want to read:

These signs were adapted from

Is your child dyslexic? How have you handled it?
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