Understanding Dyslexia -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms?

Dyslexia is defined as a language-based learning disability. That means people with dyslexia may have problems reading, spelling, writing, and pronouncing words.

Here are some early signs that are characteristic of people with a learning difference like dyslexia:

Underachievement. May be early or late in crawling, walking, or talking; appears bright but doesn't read, write, or spell at grade level; may be seen as not trying hard enough; may not perform well on tests despite a high IQ.

Motor skills. Has poor handwriting or trouble writing or copying; has poor coordination; may not do well at team sports; may have difficulty with motor-oriented tasks; may be ambidextrous; confuses left and right, and over and under; learns best through hands-on experiences.

Language and reading skills. Experiences dizziness, headache, or stomachache; tires easily when reading; doesn't read for pleasure; shows transpositions, additions, substitutions, or reversals in letters, numbers, and words when reading or writing; spells phonetically and inconsistently; has difficulty putting thoughts into words; may stutter.

Math/numbers skills. Has difficulty learning to tell time or being on time; can do arithmetic but not word problems; has trouble grasping algebra or higher math but may do well in geometry; has poor memory for sequences; thinks using images or intuition, not words.

Behavior. May be disorderly or disruptive in class; is easily frustrated about school, reading, writing, or math; may wet the bed beyond an appropriate age; shows dramatic increase in difficulties under time pressure or emotional stress.

Vision. May complain of vision problems that don't show up on standard tests; may lack depth perception and peripheral vision.

The most consistent thing about people with dyslexia may be their inconsistency: their skills and abilities may seem to vary from day to day. A dyslexic child who can spell a word one day may be unable to spell it the following day.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on March 04, 2015



The International Dyslexia Association. 

National Center for Learning Disabilities. 

National Center for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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