All parents worry about their children. They watch for each developmental milestone and if it comes even a bit late, concern begins to grow. This type of concern is a good parental instinct and is only alleviated when the child begins to talk/walk/read not long after or when, at last, a diagnosis of some type of impairment is confirmed. At least, at that point, the parent can assess his options and become proactive.
The signs of dyslexia are varied in both type and severity. Some of the signs may not seem to shout “dyslexia” but leave only a nagging sense of vague alarm in the mind of the parent. Other signs may not even generate this level of parental discomfort and the parent may be surprised when he later learns that his child had all along been displaying signs of dyslexia.
What follows is a general list of signs and symptoms of dyslexia in the preschool-age to kindergarten-age child. If your child has three or more of these signs, in particular if these are accompanied by a family history of dyslexia or ADD/ADHD, have your child tested for dyslexia when he turns five:
- Delayed speech. In general, this is defined as a child who doesn’t speak words by his first birthday, though the dyslexic child may not speak for another year or two, or even longer.
- Confused order of sounds in words of many syllables, for instance spaghetti becomes “bisgetti,” magazine becomes “mazageen,” animal becomes “aminal.”
- Stuttering and “cluttering,” in which certain sounds or phrases are repeated numerous times in an effort toward clarity during rapid speech.
- Repeated ear infections
- Unable to master shoe-tying
- Confuses spatial concepts such as right/left, over/under, before/after and similar words related to direction and directional concepts.
- Takes a long time to establish handedness. You can see him switching hands even in the middle of tasks such as coloring.
- Can’t complete phonemic awareness tasks with accuracy such as, “Tell me the last sound in the word ‘dog,” or, “How many sounds are in the word, “bake?”
- He can’t list words that rhyme with a single syllable word like “cat,” despite years of listening to rhyming storybooks.
- He finds it hard to learn the names of the letters of the alphabet and can’t write the alphabet according to its order.
- Has trouble enunciating certain letter sounds, for instance R, L, M, and N. For example, he may call it “wice” instead of “rice,” or say “fwee” instead of “free.”