Dyslexia Symptoms

Dyslexia is often misdiagnosed or missed completely. This is especially true in what is referred as “twice gifted children” or those who are of high intelligence but struggle with a learning disability. These children are often seen as being average in school, when in fact they are actually capable of much greater work. When you see this “disconnect” between intelligence and performance, there is usually the presence of a learning disability. Some of the symptoms of dyslexia are listed below for reference, but a qualified diagnostician should be consulted for a formal evaluation and diagnosis.


• Have difficulty pronouncing words like “busgetti” for “spaghetti” or “mawn lower” for “lawn mower.”

• Slow to add new vocabulary words.

• Difficulties recalling the right word.

• Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes and how to spell or write name.

• Delay in the development of fine motor skills.

Kindergarten to 4th Grade:

• May be slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds.

• Has difficulty decoding single words.

• Difficulty spelling phonetically.

• Makes consistent reading and spelling errors such as “dog” instead of “bog,” word reversals such as “tip” for “pit,” inversions such as “m” for “w” or “u” for “n,” transpositions such as “felt” for “left,” substitutions such as “house” for “home”

• Relies on guessing and context.

• May have difficulty learning new vocabulary.

• May be slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorizing without understanding.

• May have difficulty planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.

• Often uses an odd pencil grip.

5th to 8th Grade:

• Is usually reading below grade level.

• May reverse letter sequences – “soiled” for “solid,” “left” for “felt.”

• May be slow to discern and to learn prefixes, suffixes, root words, and other reading and spelling strategies.

• May have difficulty spelling; spells same word differently on the same page.

• May avoid reading aloud.

• May have trouble with word problems in math.

• May struggle to write and also may have illegible handwriting; pencil grip is odd, fist-like or tight.

• May avoid writing.

• May have difficulty with comprehension.

• May have difficulty with planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.

High School and College:

• May read very slowly with many inaccuracies.

• Continues to spell incorrectly, frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing.

• May avoid reading and writing tasks.

• May have difficulty learning a foreign language.

• May have poor memory skills.

• May work slowly

• May pay too little attention to details or focus too much on them

• May misread information

• May have an inadequate vocabulary.

• May have an inadequate store of knowledge from previous reading.

• May have difficulty with planning, organizing and managing time, materials and tasks.


• May hide reading problems.

• May spell poorly; rely on others to correct spelling.

• Avoids writing; may not be able to write.

• Often very competent in oral language.

• Relies on memory

• Often have good “people” skills.

• Often is spatially talented; professions include, but are not limited to, engineers, architects, designers, artists and craftspeople, mathematicians, physicists, physicians and dentists.

• May be very good and “reading” people (intuitive).

• In jobs is often working well below their intellectual capacity.

• May have difficulty with planning, organization and management of time, materials and tasks.

• Often entrepreneurs.

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