What are the Signs of Dyslexia in Children?

K. Gierok

Dyslexia is a condition that occurs when affected individuals have a difficult time connecting sounds to specific letters. Often, these individuals may have a difficult time writing, reading, and even speaking. While a specialist is necessary to properly diagnose dyslexia in children, parents and other adults can be on the lookout for classic signs. Some of the most common signs of dyslexia in children include an inability to master basic speaking, writing, and reading skills. In addition, a family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities may also be indicative of dyslexia in children.

"Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, is a popular celebrity with dyslexia who struggled with the disability as a child.
"Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie, is a popular celebrity with dyslexia who struggled with the disability as a child.

One of the most common signs of dyslexia in children is a decreased ability to master basic speaking skills. While most children will not reflect minor intricacies associated with proper speech, they should have the basic techniques mastered. For example, children who suffer from dyslexia often are slow in learning how to speak and often have a difficult time pronouncing certain works that are easily mastered by their peers. Children who exhibit these traits should be evaluated by a physician who is skilled in the area of dyslexia. Often, a speech and language pathologist is consulted in order to make a positive diagnosis.

Children with dyslexia often have difficulty writing.
Children with dyslexia often have difficulty writing.

When diagnosing dyslexia in children, the reading and pre-reading ability skills are often examined thoroughly. Even if they are not yet at a reading level, children who are exposed to the alphabet should exhibit an understanding on the different letters and how they are combined to form sounds. A classic sign of dyslexia occurs when children reverse letters that resemble each other, such as b and d. In addition, an inability to decipher simple words for his or her age group may also be indicative of dyslexia.

An inability to perform basic writing skills is also considered a major indicator of dyslexia in children. As with the other developmental milestones, children of various ages will all be at different levels in their writing skills. Those who take a long time to learn how to write their names, however, or whose handwriting is almost undecipherable when compared to their peers may be suffering from dyslexia.

A family history of dyslexia is also commonly linked to the development of dyslexia in children. In addition, other learning disabilities, such as attention deficit disorder or even mental retardation, may also contribute to the development of the conditions. Individuals on both sides of the family should be evaluated for potential learning disabilities.

The inability to master basic reading skills could be a sign of dyslexia in children.
The inability to master basic reading skills could be a sign of dyslexia in children.

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