Signs of Dyslexia
1. Difficulty learning the alphabet
Difficulty learning the names of the letters
Difficulty learning the corresponding sounds for the letters of the alphabet
Difficulty learning the sequence of the letters of the alphabet
Difficulty writing the alphabet in sequence
Often these children learn to sing the alphabet song as a rote song, but are unable to say the individual letters one at a time, even despite substantial practice.
2. A lack of symbol to sound association. These students have a very limited repertoire of sounds, so they tend to do wild guessing or use their sight memory to read and spell.
3. The student is unable to read satisfactory, despite adequate intelligence and educational opportunity.
Difficulty sound blending words that are unfamiliar
Difficulty segmenting words into syllables
Decoding errors( adding sounds, omitted sounds, substitution of sounds, omission of syllables)
4. The student’s written work does not reflect his/her potential. Often these students can be very bright with strong verbal skills and vocabulary. However when they attempt to express their ideas on paper, it is difficult to decipher what they have written.
5. The student may have unusual difficulty with handwriting: forming the letters, remembering the shape of the letters or the direction of the letters such as g and q
6. Difficulty with spelling beyond the weekly spelling list. Often students can memorize for a spelling test, but then the next day can not spell these words. They have memorized a string of letters, but are not segmenting the sounds to spell accurately. By looking at a writing sample where the natural spelling is witnessed, demonstrates their true ability in the area of spelling. They often have difficulty spelling words not in his/her memory bank: difficulty with short vowel discrimination, sound/symbol association, omissions, substitution and addition of sounds, and syllables, and sounds out of sequence when spelling words
7. Frequent letter reversals: b/d,p/q,w/m, g/q
8 Transposition of letters within words: who/how, left/felt
9. Directional Confusion: before/after, left/right,over and under
10. The student’s recall ability for names and words are poor
11. The student has difficulty remembering and following directions
12 The student forgets assignments and or /loses papers
13. The student has difficulty copying from a near point/ far point or both
14. Auditory discrimination difficulties particularly with the short vowels: Confusion between short e( ed) with short i (it), short o (hot) with short u ( hut)
15. Attention span is short which may also be the result of frustration
16. High talents in other areas that do not require reading, spelling, or writing : such as math ( with the exception of reading word problems), art, athletic prowess, creativity, building without looking at directions( such as legos)
17. There may be a history of dyslexia in the family
18. May have strong listening skills which have been a compensation for the inability to read adequately.
19. They may have poor listening skills due to difficulties with attention and concentration
20. Strong comprehension skills which indicates the ability to understand language despite a lack of memory for the letter symbols or sounds.
21. Generally these students are average to above average intelligence
22. Difficulty with grammar and writing: Remembering the names for the basic parts of speech and applying this knowledge to written language skills.
If you child is demonstrated several of these characteristics testing for dyslexia would be recommended.
At a young age strong signs of a dyslexic student can be identified with the child who is having unusual difficulty learning the sequence of the alphabet, learning the names of the letters both upper and lower case and associating the letter symbols with their speech sounds. The dyslexic child does not learn letters, sounds and the alphabet using traditional methodology and require intensive multisensory activities in order for them to make the connection between the letters and sounds which is a requirement for early reading. It is best to begin this remediation before they enter first grade where there is such a strong emphasis on reading instruction and the dyslexic student is unable to be successful due to their lack of memory of letters and sounds. The sooner the remediation begins, the less frustration the dyslexic child will experience when he begins to master these readiness skills. Dyslexic children need to be instructed through hands on learning, utilizing the visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities in all areas of reading, spelling and written language by an instructor with an expertise in the field of dyslexia. These children can achieve at their potential only when the instruction meets their learning style and academic needs.
*** Often students that are high achievers mask the symptoms of dyslexia and their difficulties and it only become apparent when the curriculum become more complex and demanding.
Early intervention with a highly multisensory language curriculum such as the Wilson Reading System that integrates sounds, decoding, encoding and written language skills is essential for this type of learner.