Dyslexia FAQ’s

Signs of Dyslexia

If your child has 3 or more of the following signs of dyslexia, and a close relative with dyslexia, your child could be dyslexic.

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Signs of Dyslexia in Young Children

  • Trouble with concepts of time.
  • Unable to follow 2 or 3-step directions.
  • Learn to talk later than other children their age
  • Difficulty learning the names of shapes and colors
  • Difficulty learning letter names and sounds
  • Reversal of syllables and phonemes (letter sounds) within a word.
  • Unable to recognize or produce rhymes.
  • Early stuttering
  • Cannot sequence rote memory concepts such as days of the week, months of the year, alphabet, and numbers.
  • Trouble recognizing letters in words or even their names.
  • Delays with fine motor skills like tying shoes, coloring and writing

Dyslexia in preschoolers is hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms are developmentally common for all preschoolers. The more symptoms that are present, and the longer they persist, the more likely it is that your child may need some help. Dyslexia is marked by a combination of signs and a lack of progress over time.

Signs of Dyslexia In Elementary School

  • does not enjoy reading but likes being read to
  • slow, inaccurate reading
  • uses context clues rather than sounding words out
  • skips or misreads little words (at, to, of)
  • poor spelling – very phonetic
  • trouble telling time on a clock with hands
  • difficulty expressing self
  • inattentiveness, distractibility
  • slow and messy handwriting – also called dysgraphia
  • letter and number reversals after first grade
  • trouble memorizing math facts
  • hesitant speech; difficulty finding the right words to express self
  • extremely messy bedroom, backpack or desk
  • dreads going to school

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Signs of Dyslexia In Adolescence and Adulthood

All of the above signs plus:

  • difficulty processing auditory information
  • losing possessions; poor organizational skills – also referred to as executive function
  • slow reading; low comprehension
  • difficulty remembering the names of people and places
  • difficulty organizing ideas to write a paper
  • difficulty reading music
  • unable to master a foreign language
  • inability to recall numbers in proper sequence
  • lowered self-esteem due to past frustrations and failure
  • may drop out of high school

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Myths About Dyslexia

Dyslexia doesn’t exist. Dyslexia is one of the most researched and documented conditions that impacts children. Dyslexia is genetically based and has been shown to be clearly related to neurophysiological differences in brain function.

Learning disabilities are correlated to IQ. Dyslexia is not related to intelligence. In fact, one of the clear signs that a child may have dyslexia is that there is a discrepancy between their intelligence (average to above-average) and their processing speeds and academic performance.

Children will outgrow dyslexia. Research shows that if a child is struggling with reading, writing and spelling in mid-first grade, there is a 90% chance that the child will still be struggling in 8th grade and into adulthood. With early intervention, kids with dyslexia can avoid the embarrassment of falling behind their peers.  They also learn and progress much more quickly in the younger years.  Don’t worry though – it is never too late to learn to read!

Dyslexia is caused by bad diet, bad parenting or watching too much TV. Dyslexia is genetically based. Although bad diet, bad parenting and watching too much TV aren’t good for any child and certainly won’t help the situation.

Dyslexia can be helped with medication. There is no medication to help with dyslexia. As many as 40% of kids with dyslexia also have Attention Deficit Disorder {ADD}. There are some medications for ADD, but they won’t help with reading, writing and spelling – only attention issues.

Dyslexia is a visual problem. Most kids reverse letters or numbers while they are learning. Continued reversals after 2 years of instruction is considered a sign of dyslexia. This, however, is not a vision issue. Dyslexia is a language processing disorder.  The confusion lies within the brain and how it processes written material.

Dyslexia affects more boys than girls. More boys are sent in for dyslexia testing than girls, but research shows that an equal amount of boys and girls are affected by dyslexia. Becasue boys tend to act out their frustrations of not doing well in class, they are noticed and sent in for testing. Girls who aren’t doing well in class tend to be more quiet and try to avoid being noticed. Sometimes they are only diagnosed in highschool or college.

Dyslexics are lazy and need to work harder. Research has shown by the use of functional MRIs and brain mapping that slower readers use different parts of their brains when reading and working with language. The findings provide evidence that people with dyslexia are not poorly taught, lazy, or stupid but have an inborn difference in brain function that has nothing to do with intelligence.

Accommodations for kids with dyslexia are a crutch. Dyslexics are just as intelligent as their peers but because of slower processing speeds, may need more time on tests to be able to reflect what they really know. The difficulties in taking notes is so profound that students will often miss the entire meaning of a lecture just trying to copy down the pertinant words.

Dyslexia is untreatable. There are successful treatments for dyslexia. It is not a disease that can be treated with a pill. It is a way of thinking, the way the brain is wired and how it processes information. Research has shown that the brain can actually be rewired if the individual is taught with systematic, explicit, sequential phonics taught in a multi-sensory way.

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What to do if You Suspect Dyslexia

Get educated.  Visit our blog for teaching tips, resource recommendations and encouragement.

Visit our Resources page and learn all you can about what dyslexia is, how dyslexics learn and what your educational options and rights are. You are your child’s most important advocate.

Take a Class.  Our courses were specifically designed to teach you what you need to know about dyslexia so you can get started teaching your kids the way they learn.  Visit our Parent Dyslexia Education Courses page for the latest courses available.  Learn how to create a learning environment in your home that is relaxed and efficient.

Get support.  Find a group of people who can relate to what you are going through.  Our Homeschooling With Dyslexia Facebook Page is a great place to start.  These groups are a great place to find encouragement and advice on everything from curriculum to teaching tips and simple encouragement when it is ‘one of those days’.