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10 Common Symptoms of Dyslexia


Dyslexia is a learning disorder. It makes it difficult to effectively read, talk, and write. However, those with dyslexia have normal vision and intelligence. Dyslexia typically occurs in children, but can go into adulthood and be undiagnosed and untreated.

Dyslexia is very common, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. People with dyslexia learn differently. Most children with dyslexia can do well in school thanks to tutoring and specialized educational programs.

Symptom 1: Trouble Reading

Is it difficult to read? Those with dyslexia show signs at various stages of difficulty reading.

For example, according to the University of Michigan, in pre-school, a child may not know how to hold a book; can't tell the difference between letters and squiggly marks; can't recognize their own name; are only able to say a few words; and don’t like rhyming games or nursery rhymes.

Symptom 2: Trouble Spelling

Do you have trouble correctly spelling words? Can you spell a word one day, but forget how to spell it the next day? Dyslexia affects your working memory.

According to the University of Michigan, “Given that many dyslexics have difficulty hearing the individual sounds in our language—a skill that underlies spelling—many dyslexics have difficulty learning to spell.” 

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Symptom 3: Trouble Pronouncing Words

Does it take you awhile to learn new words? And how to properly pronounce them? Are/were you a late talker as a child?

According to the University of Michigan, “It has to do with the way the brain works, not with vision. It involves not being able to break a word down into the sounds that make it up, and not being able to write and think about the sounds in a word. Kids with dyslexia have brains that work differently to process language. They have problems translating language to thought (in listening or reading) and thought to language (in writing or speaking).”

Symptom 4: Reading and Writing

Did it take you longer than others to learn how to read? Does it take you a long time to write or read something? Tutoring can help make reading and writing easier.

According to Understood.org, “In people with dyslexia, the brain has trouble recognizing or processing certain types of information. This can include matching letter sounds and symbols (such as the letter b making the buh sound) and blending them together to make words.”

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Symptom 5: Late Talking

Children can start to talk and use words and sentences around 1 or 2 years old. However, those suffering from dyslexia may not talk until later.

According to Dhinfo.org, “Speech delay isn't a certain indication that you have a dyslexic child, but you should be attentive, so you may find more definitive evidences. Even before the school starts, it is necessary to bring your late talker child to a speech therapist…”

Symptom 6: Difficulty Memorizing

Do you have trouble remembering and following instructions? Do you struggle learning multiplication tables? Do you forget what you are doing, especially when reading and writing? Those with dyslexia usually have problems with their memory.

According to the British Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia affects the way information is processed, stored, and retrieved, with problems of memory, speed of processing, time perception, organisation and sequencing.”

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Symptom 7: Difficulty Thinking and Understanding

Those with dyslexia can have difficulty thinking and understanding. Their brain works differently from others.

According to Dyslexiavictoriaonline.com, “They think primarily in images and not necessarily letters and numbers. Animals, people, and objects are real, but letters and numbers are abstract and mean nothing to them yet. They have difficulty learning to say the alphabet in the correct order or counting to 10 correctly. The Dyslexic child does not understand sequences well. They see the ‘big picture’ easily but not the individual parts. They show confusion with directionality such as left from right, up or down, over or under, now or later. Dyslexic children think three dimensionally and 360 degrees around themselves, so directionality can be bewildering because they don't know always know where they are in reference to right or left, up or down, etc.”

Symptom 8: Learning Disability

Dyslexia causes several learning issues, including struggling to form letters, putting ideas into words, and spelling words correctly. Dyslexia is often referred to as a language-based learning disability.

According to Dyslexiavictoriaonline.com, “They can have difficulty learning the names of letters or the sounds of the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes or how to spell and write their name. This is the beginning of them having difficulties with understanding certain types of abstract concepts versus concrete.”

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Symptom 9: Headaches

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines? Dyslexia can cause frustration due to the struggles patients experience. As a result, they get tension headaches. The headaches usually cause pain around your temples or forehead.

According to a post on Alternativewiring.com, “In addition to the whole unpleasantness, migraines make my dyslexia next to impossible to handle. Even though it’s mostly gone now, I’m still having some trouble hitting the right keys. Although this one wasn’t triggered by reading, I’ve heard from many dyslexics that they end up with terrible headaches after reading for so long.”

Symptom 10: Speech Impairment

Do you have a lisp? Do you slur your words? Stutter? Have trouble articulating?

Those with dyslexia may have such speech impairments, as well as experience trouble remembering, recalling, and saying different sound combinations.

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