Signs and Symptons

(Adapted from B.H. Slingerland, Australian Journal of Remedial Education, 1982)
A number of signs or symptoms can accompany dyslexia. An individual can exhibit any or all of the characteristics, in varying combinations. Parents and teachers should be alert to signs that may indicate the presence of dyslexia, and should be prepared to seek formal testing to obtain a diagnosis and interventions.

These characteristics may be seen in children:

*slowness in learning to talk
*not always understanding what is said
*problems in following directions
*difficulty remembering words, learning new words, or expressing themselves
*slow development of vocabulary for verbalizing, or may use too many words to make themselves understood
*mispronunciation of words
*clumsiness or awkwardness in large muscle activities (running, hopping, skipping, playing games, sports)
*difficulty with or avoidance of holding a pencil, coloring, learning to write, working puzzles, or with any small muscle coordination activity
*uncertainty of preferred handedness
*avoidance of or difficulty with recognizing or recalling own name, letters of the alphabet, or words that are taught
*lack of desire or outright avoidance of learning to read or write or to listen to stories read to them

After beginning school, children may exhibit the following characteristics:

*difficulty in learning to read, despite being verbal and interested listeners
*confusion with sequencing letters in words or in spelling
*unreliable sense of direction: left/right, up/down, before/after; confusion sequencing days of week, months of year, etc.
*mispronunciation or transposition of syllables for reading or spelling or both; songrand for grandson, dropgum for gumdrop
*difficulty with syntax and sequencing words to verbalize thought, leading to difficulty with written expression
*ability to verbalize clearly while lacking the ability to spell the words for writing answers to questions and for propositional writing
*below grade level in language skills: reading, spelling, writing, and verbalizing; succeeding in reading but still misspelling
*illegible writing or misformed letters
*omission of short words such as articles and prepositions, the "cementing" words that give meaning to sequenced nouns, verbs,     adjectives, and adverbs
*miscall words: thing for night, procession for processing, achieve for archives, etc.
*avoidance of reading for pleasure
*slow reading of words or failure to comprehend what is read
*continued performance below grade level
*failure to measure up to academic progress commensurate with intelligence or possibly to attain no more than grade level achievement
*difficulty with mathematics, reversal of digits, transposition of numbers: 41 for 14, 325 for 523, etc.
*inability to recall sequential steps in mental arithmetic or follow written directions
*development of negative emotional, behavioral and/or attitudinal problems due to inadequate academic performance
*loss of self-esteem and self-confidence due to various problems associated with difficulties in acquiring language skills
*family history (mother, father, siblings, cousins, etc.) of difficulty in acquiring language skills