Signs of Dyslexia

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When children are first learning how to read and write, they make the same mistakes at varying degrees of frequency. For most children, the mistakes decrease in frequency after a short time and are eventually eliminated altogether. Children with dyslexia, on the other hand, make a significantly greater number of errors than their peers, and the problems persist over a long period of time. What is particularly characteristic of dyslexia is the enormous inconsistency of these errors: it is often difficult to establish regular error patterns, and the errors occur without a common factor or theme.

The following signs can indicate the presence of dyslexia:

General wellbeing

  • …has anxiety about going to school
  • …has anxiety about taking tests
  • …has a negative perception of their own intelligence
  • …is withdrawn
  • …expects to fail
  • …displays frustration and a reluctance to try in other subjects
  • …lacks self-confidence
  • …experiences psychosomatic symptoms (stomach ache in the morning)
  • …displays aggressive or depressed behaviour

Doing homework

  • …requires a disproportionate amount of time
  • …quickly becomes tired
  • …is disorganized at home and school
  • …needs a lot of support
  • …wants a parent or other adult to be present
  • …frequently seeks reassurance that their answers are correct
  • …often forgets what is to be done as homework
  • …often gets confused about verbal instructions
  • …has the feeling that they are not getting better, even after lots of practice
  • …reacts sensitively when trying to work, with frequent arguments or tears

Typical spelling and writing mistakes

  • …finds it difficult to tell similar-looking letters apart
  • …finds it difficult to map letters to sounds (phoneme errors)
  • …finds it difficult to break letters down into component sounds
  • …leaves out letters or parts of words
  • …adds extra letters or parts of words
  • …mixes up the order of the letters within a word
  • …distorts the appearance of letters (e.g. writes them as mirror images)
  • …makes frequent errors with upper and lower case
  • …has difficulty remembering and applying spelling rules
  • …writes the same word in different ways within the same text, yet is not able to recognize that the word is written differently each time or which version is correct
  • …makes a noticeably large number of grammatical errors
  • …has difficulty using punctuation(«»/ ,/./?/!)
  • …often has illegible handwriting, unable to maintain consistent letter sizing throughout an entire text

Typical reading mistakes

  • …has difficulty breaking words down into syllables orally
  • …exhibits poor rhyming skills
  • …has difficulty recognizing the beginning, middle, and end sounds
  • …mispronounces words or parts of words
  • …leaves out particular letters or parts of words
  • …adds particular letters or parts of words
  • …reads very slowly and deliberately, often taking long pauses between words
  • …skips over punctuation, not leaving a pause for breath
  • …spontaneously replaces letters, syllables, and words with other letters, syllables, and words
  • …finds it difficult to begin reading out loud; lots of hesitation
  • …often loses their place in the text
  • …swaps words around within a sentence
  • …swaps letters around within a word
  • …has difficulties pronouncing double vowel sounds (diphthongs)

Typical difficulties with comprehension

  • …often finds it difficult to follow written instructions
  • …finds it difficult to formulate statements about reading material in their own words
  • …has difficulties drawing conclusions from reading material or identifying correlations
  • …struggles with questions on the content of texts; often needs to use their general knowledge to answer questions instead of formulating answers from the information they have read.


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