Keep in mind that no two people with dyslexia are alike.

Be on the look out for 3 or more of the following warning signs. 

 In Preschool

• delayed speech

• mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words

• chronic ear infections

• stuttering

• constant confusion of left versus right

• late establishing a dominant hand

• difficulty learning to tie shoes

• trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet

• can’t create words that rhyme

• a close relative with dyslexia


In Elementary School

• dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)

• letter or number reversals continuing past the end of first grade

• extreme difficulty learning cursive

• slow, choppy, inaccurate reading: - guesses based on shape or context - skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of) - ignores suffixes - can’t sound out unknown words

• terrible spelling

• often can’t remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)

• difficulty telling time with a clock with hands

• trouble with math - memorizing multiplication tables - memorizing a sequence of steps - directionality

• when speaking, difficulty finding the correct word - lots of “whatyamacallits” and “thingies” - common sayings come out slightly twisted

• extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk

• dreads going to school - complains of stomach aches or headaches - may have nightmares about school

In High School All of the above symptoms plus:

• limited vocabulary

• extremely poor written expression - large discrepancy between verbal skills and written compositions

• unable to master a foreign language

• difficulty reading printed music

• poor grades in many classes

• may drop out of high school


In Adults Education history similar to above, plus:

• slow reader

• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to understand it

• terrible speller

• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper - dreads writing memos or letters • still has difficulty with right versus left

• often gets lost, even in a familiar city

• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick

These warning signs reprinted with prior written permission from Susan Barton, Founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia

a parent never wants to see their child struggle