cards spelling out dyslexia

Dyslexia Symptoms

Dyslexia is a disorder that hinders various aspects of language, especially reading. It can affect children and adults of varying intellectual levels. Symptoms of dyslexia may differ depending on the age of the individual. The following provides information regarding symptoms of dyslexia at different age levels.


There are several symptoms to look for in this age group. Your child may have dyslexia if he or she doesn't learn to talk as early as other children or has trouble pronouncing words. Dyslexic children may have difficulty reciting nursery rhymes or coming up with words that rhyme with one another. They might find it difficult to learn new words, remember the alphabet, or memorize days of the week.

Elementary School

Children in this general category may confuse small words or reverse letters, such as "d" and "b." They may confuse letters that are inversions, such as "m" and "w." If your child frequently says "umm" in conversations, has difficulty finding the right words or expressions, and uses the words "stuff" or "things" frequently, this could be an indication of dyslexia. Sloppy handwriting and difficulty remembering dates or telephone numbers are also signs of a possible problem with dyslexia.

Middle School

Symptoms for children in the age range of 5th through 8th grade may include hesitating when speaking or not wanting to read out loud. Difficulty spelling or working through word math problems are symptoms of dyslexia. Poor handwriting or even having an extremely messy bedroom may also be indications of dyslexia.

High School

Sometimes bright students will find ways to compensate for their dyslexia when they are younger. By the time they reach their teen years, however, the rigorous work makes it difficult to hide the disorder. The symptoms of dyslexia for those who are in high school can include reading very slowly or even avoiding activities that involve reading and writing altogether. If your student exhibits an inability to keep track of assignments and deadlines, has a weak vocabulary, or difficulty spelling, he or she may have dyslexia.


If you're hiding how difficult it is for you to read, this could be a sign that you have dyslexia. Poor spelling and difficulty writing are other signs of a possible problem with dyslexia. Adults who struggle with this disability may have excellent oral skills and rely on memory instead of reading. Adults with dyslexia may also easily forget directions or have difficulty planning and organizing things.

Finding a Diagnosis

If you think your child may be suffering from dyslexia, the first step is to contact officials at your child's school. You'll want to have test scores and evaluations from the school when contacting a medical professional who specializes in dyslexia. Adults who think they might have dyslexia should be tested; a primary physician should be able to refer you to a specialist. Specialists who are able to make a diagnosis likely have backgrounds in neuropsychology, special education, or speech pathology.

Last Updated: November 01, 2016