The Dyslexia Project

Dyslexia Early Indicators

Dyslexia Early indicators include the following:

  • Speaking later than other kids his age.
  • Your child adds new words very slowly to her vocabulary.
  • Rhyming may be difficult for your child.
  • Difficulty identifying and recognizing printed letters and words.
  • Mispronouncing words
  • Your child’s reading ability is below the standard level expected for the age group.
  • Difficulty understanding instructions
  • Your child may have difficulty processing and understanding auditory remarks and may find it hard to follow more than one set of commands at a time.
  • He or she may not recognize differences and similarities between letters, words, and numbers.

Some children also display these Dyslexia Early Indicators:

  • clumsiness or awkwardness in large muscle activities (running, hopping, skipping, playing games, sports)
  • difficulty with or avoidance of holding a pencil, coloring, learning to write, working puzzles, or with any small muscle coordination activity
  • uncertainty of preferred handedness
  • avoidance of or difficulty with recognizing or recalling own name, letters of the alphabet, or words that are taught
  • lack of desire or outright avoidance of learning to read or write or to listen to stories read to them

School-age children also display some or all of the following Dys:

  • difficulty learning to read, despite being verbal and interested listeners
  • confusion with sequencing letters in words or in spelling
  • unreliable sense of direction: left/right, up/down, before/after; confusion sequencing days of week, months of year, etc.
  • mispronunciation or transposition of syllables for reading or spelling
  • guessing at words when reading aloud, or skipping over them with
  • inability to sound words out
  • difficulties with comprehension

Written expression

  • inability to express complexity of thought in writing
  • illegible writing or misformed letters
  • difficulty spelling
  • below grade level in language skills: reading, spelling, writing, and verbalizing; succeeding in reading but still misspelling
  • miscall words: thing for night, procession for processing, achieve for archives, etc.
  • avoidance of reading for pleasure
  • continued performance below grade level
  • failure to measure up to academic progress commensurate with intelligence or possibly to attain no more than grade level achievement


  • difficulty with mathematics, reversal of digits, transposition of numbers: 41 for 14, 325 for 523, etc.
  • inability to recall sequential steps in mental arithmetic or follow written directions

Other associated issues

  • development of negative emotional, behavioral and/or attitudinal problems due to inadequate academic performance
  • loss of self-esteem and self-confidence due to various problems associated with difficulties in acquiring language skills
  • family history (parents, siblings, other family members) of difficulty reading, writing, and/or math

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