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Children's Health

Understanding Dyslexia -- Symptoms

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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:

Understanding Dyslexia

Find out more about dyslexia:

Basics

Symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

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. Gets dizzy, headache, or stomachache or 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 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 Patricia Quinn, MD on March 12, 2014

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