Dyslexia can be a difficult learning need to identify mainly because, children learn to read and write at different rates.  Also there are many external factors that can affect learning. To be absolutely sure whether dyslexia is the right diagnosis, be sure to seek expert advice.  At the bottom of this article are some useful links.

Contrary to popular perception, dyslexia doesn’t just affect reading, spelling and writing.  It can also affect memory and how someone processes numbers. It can also be hereditary.

If someone has dyslexia it does not necessarily mean that it will be obvious since there are different levels of severity.  For instance, if someone has ‘mild’ dyslexia, he/she may develop ways to compensate for weaknesses.

The British Dyslexia Association lists some indicators at different stages of a child’s development.  Below is a summary but you can click here to see a more detailed list.

Pre-school indicators:

  • Persistent jumbled phrases
  • Poor memory for learning labels of objects e.g. “table, “chair”
  • Difficulty with rhyming words/learning nursery rhymes

Primary school aged indicators:

  • Struggles particularly with reading and spelling
  • Puts letters and numbers the wrong way around
  • Poor concentration
  • Still confuses left and right
  • Lacks confidence

Aged 12+:

  • Still reads inaccurately
  • Spelling is persistently weak
  • Needs instructions and telephone numbers repeated multiple times
  • Has difficulty processing complex language or series of instructions

Dyslexia, especially when undiagnosed or catered for, can cause poor self-esteem.  When children can see that they are struggling in certain areas in comparison to peers, they feel ‘stupid’.  This is why an accurate diagnosis if special educational needs is so crucial, as is ensuring that the learning needs are being catered for.

Some useful websites:

Dyslexia Assist


British Dyslexia Association