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Caroline Dennigan

Caroline Dennigan Blog Posts
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4 minutes reading time (815 words)

Dyslexia signs to look out for...

Dyslexia is probably much more common than you would initially imagine, with an estimated 1 in 10 to 20 people in the UK having some degree of dyslexia. If you think your child might be one of them, then read on to find out which dyslexia signs to look out for...

What is dyslexia? 

Dyslexia is a "specific learning difficulty", which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. While dyslexia is a neurological condition, intelligence isn't affected. Identifying dyslexia can be difficult because specific dyslexia signs are not always obvious and it also differs from one person to another with a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses. While it is a lifelong issue that can present challenges on a daily basis, support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help people who are dyslexic be successful at school and in the workplace. 

Did you know that Albert Einstein was dyslexic, also Pablo Picasso, Tom Cruise, Richard Branson and Stephen Spielberg to name just a few. (Your child might be the next person on that list!)

In fact, it can actually be a benefit, because other areas of the brain (articulation for example) can be developed to a higher level. Think of Jamie Oliver, another famous dyslexic.

(Phonics acquisition is very often an issue for children with dyslexia - so you might be interested in this article all about phonics, and how parents can help to teach their own kids.)

Dyslexia signs to look out for:

If you have noticed your child starting to fall behind in class, you will obviously want to find the reason why. Underlying causes could be related to vision such as short-sightedness or a squint. Hearing problems and ADHD could also be causes and of course, it is possible that dyslexia could be one of the reasons your child is falling behind at school.
As with any ongoing concern, take your child to your GP to check if there are any underlying health problems. If it turns out there are no underlying health problems that can explain their learning difficulties, arrange a meeting to discuss your concerns with your child's teacher and the school's special educational needs coordinator (SENCO).

But how can you tell if your child may be dyslexic? There are some obvious tell-tale dyslexia signs if you know what to look for, but as not all children have the same patterns of abilities it can be difficult to detect.

If your child has dyslexia, you will find they won't be making logical reading mistakes. Instead, they will make mistakes that don't seem to make any sense. It is the same with spelling. For instance, both reading and spelling will be unpredictable and inconsistent.

1. In pre-school children, one of the main dyslexia signs to keep an eye out for are persistent muddled phrases such as 'cobbler's club' instead of 'toddler's club' Do they have trouble learning nursery rhymes and words that rhyme? 'sat, mat, hat, cat ?' Have you noticed your child using alternate words? 'lampshade' instead of 'lamppost.' Children at this age may put spoken sentences together incorrectly, or they may have difficulties remembering certain words.

2. Primary-aged children will tend to mix up the sequence of letters when spelling, such as hlep for help and they may spell a word as it sounds, for example duz for does or wont for want. They may have difficulty learning and remembering phonic patterns, both the spelling and sounds of these.
Two other dyslexia signs to look out for at home are difficulties tieing shoelaces and reading a clock with hands. Both can be signs of dyslexia.

Primary children could be slow writers and 'sweat' over seemingly simple writing tasks. Handwriting may be poor and illegible, and letters poorly formed or 'reversed'.
(Worried it might be dyspraxia instead? Check the quick facts about dyspraxia)


All this is a huge over-simplification, as it would take a serious assessment to come up with both a prognosis and a diagnosis.

To muddy the waters further, nearly ALL CHILDREN show some signs of dyslexia at various ages. It's a sliding scale. And if your child shows some of the above dyslexia signs, but nevertheless, is making good progress at school, then you've probably nothing to worry about.

To find out more, courtesy of Nessy, you can download your own free copy of 'Dyslexia Explained' right here -> 'Dyslexia Explained' This super Ebook covers topics such as:
Understanding dyslexia.
Types of dyslexia.
What people with dyslexia are good at.
Dyslexia difficulties.
Helpful strategies.
What works best for dyslexia.

If, of course, you'd prefer an experienced private tutor to help your child to make the most of their talents and find ways to cope with dyslexia, then you can explore the possibility of a private tutor here.​

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