What are the Symptoms of Dyslexia in Children? / by web build

Symptoms of Dyslexia in San Diego children.

Dyslexia is the most common of all language disorders. It affects reading and writing abilities for children and adults alike. However, children with dyslexia respond quite well to early intervention and appropriate teaching strategies. Studies show that if children receive effective phonological training early in elementary school, they will have significantly fewer problems learning to read at grade level compared to children who are not diagnosed or who do not receive help until their later elementary school years.

It’s important to remember that the signs and symptoms of dyslexia vary from person to person. If you’re worried about your child’s language skills but you’re not sure if they’re severe enough for professional intervention, read on for common symptoms of dyslexia in different stages of childhood:

Childhood Dyslexia in the Preschool Years

Language-based disabilities are usually first apparent at preschool age. Children with dyslexia might have any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Talking later than most children
  • Difficulty pronouncing words
  • Slow to add new vocabulary words
  • Unable to recall the right word for something
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words
  • Difficulty learning and remembering names of letters in the alphabet
  • Unable to follow multi-step directions or routines
  • Late development of fine motor skills
  • Trouble interacting with peers
  • Difficulty telling a story in the correct sequence

Childhood Dyslexia in Early Elementary School

While some children get a head start with basic reading and writing in preschool, most children are able to read clearly and write legibly by first grade. If your child displays some of the following specific language difficulties, dyslexia could be the issue:

  • Cannot sound out simple words like cat, dog, map
  • Difficulty associating letters with sounds
  • History of stuttering
  • Difficult with directions such as up, down, in, out
  • Short attention span compared to peers
  • Difficulty memorizing songs
  • Reversing letters and/or numbers when writing
  • Leaving letters out of words or leaving words out of sentences
  • Difficulty understanding how words come apart
  • Little interest in reading, even “fun” books

Childhood Dyslexia in Late Elementary School

By second grade, most children are adept enough at reading and writing to apply their skills to other subjects such as science and social studies. Symptoms of dyslexia are most apparent at this stage, and the earlier the child is diagnosed, the stronger their chances for long-term academic success. Late elementary school-age symptoms include:

  • Slow and awkward reading
  • Trouble reading unfamiliar words, often making wild guesses
  • Avoiding reading out loud
  • Using vague language when speaking, such as “stuff” and “thing,” more often than peers
  • Pausing, hesitating, and saying “um” frequently when speaking
  • Confusing words that sound alike
  • Needing extra time to respond to questions
  • Trouble remembering names and dates
  • Trouble finishing tests on time
  • Messy handwriting
  • Low self-esteem

Childhood Dyslexia in Middle School and High School

Although most children are diagnosed with dyslexia before leaving elementary school, some children can hide their difficulties behind a façade of boredom or indifference. However, it’s never too late for intervention, so if your older child displays the following symptoms, there’s still time to help:

  • Reading still requires great effort and is done at a slow pace
  • Rarely reading for pleasure
  • Still avoiding reading out loud
  • Anxious when speaking
  • Frequent pausing or hesitating when speaking
  • Incorrect pronunciation of names of people and places
  • Difficulty remembering names or confusing names that sound alike
  • Struggling to retrieve words
  • Smaller spoken vocabulary than listening vocabulary

How to Help San Diego Children with Dyslexia

While there is no cure for dyslexia, early intervention offers encouragement and tools that will have a significant effect on a child’s academic career and success in adulthood. If your child displays some of the symptoms listed above, the first step is to have a pediatrician rule out any physical issues like poor vision or hearing difficulties. Once your child is diagnosed, it’s important to seek out therapeutic services such as those provided by FITS in San Diego.

Functional Integrated Therapeutic Services (FITS) has two locations in Mira Mesa and Liberty Station, and we’re uniquely suited to help your child. To learn more about all the services we offer, contact us today.