Dyslexia is a highly common childhood disorder that persists into adulthood. Although there are many symptoms that persist from childhood into adulthood, some symptoms vary depending on a person’s age. If you suspect that your child might have dyslexia, look for the symptoms of dyslexia discussed below. If your child exhibits one or two of these symptoms, they don’t necessarily have dyslexia. However, if a number of symptoms are present in your child, consult with your child’s doctor for testing.
Under Five Years of Age
One of the primary symptoms of dyslexia for preschool-aged children is a delay in the acquisition of language. Young children with dyslexia will often be slow to add new words to their vocabulary. Similarly, they might have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers and common words such as days of the week and colors. When they begin to read, children might also have trouble pronouncing words.
Kindergarten Through the Fifth Grade
Elementary school-aged children commonly have difficulty making the connection between letters and sounds. Children will have trouble reading words, as well as producing speech. They will often reverse words, such as “top” for “pot,” transpose words, such as “left” for “felt,” or substitute words, such as “car” and “truck.” Letter reversal, such as “b” for “d” is a highly common symptom of dyslexia at this age as well.
Sixth Grade Through Eighth Grade
Children with dyslexia at this age will not read at grade level, despite demonstrating average or above-average intelligence. They will have difficulty learning and recognizing prefixes and suffixes such as “de” and “er”, as well as root words like “astro” in astronaut. Spelling is also an issue, as children at this age will be poor spellers and often spell the same word differently on the same assignment. Another common symptom of dyslexia for middle school-aged children is poor or illegible handwriting. This is often due to an awkward grip of the writing utensil.
Ninth Grade Through Twelfth Grade
A primary symptom of dyslexia at this age is slow and inaccurate reading. Children may avoid reading altogether, especially reading aloud in class. Writing assignments may also be avoided, or at the other extreme, children might spend aninordinate amount of time preparing for reading and writing assignments. When they do read, children at this age will have trouble recalling what they’ve read. They will also continue to demonstrate poor spelling, illegible handwriting and below grade level vocabulary.
It is important to remember that the symptoms of dyslexia change over time: one of the most consistent traits of the disorder is its inconsistency. However, looking for these common symptoms will help you determine if a qualified professional should evaluate your child for dyslexia. If your child is diagnosed with dyslexia, there are a wide variety of effective treatments to help your child manage their symptoms. For more information about dyslexia and treatments for dyslexia, visit https://learningbreakthrough.com/specific-challenges/dyslexia-reading-challenges.