Warning Signs of Dyslexia

If a person has 3 or more of the following warning signs, consider the possibility of dyslexia:

In Preschool:
• delayed speech
• mixes up the sounds and syllables in long words
• chronic ear infections
• severe reactions to childhood illnesses
• constant confusion of left versus right
• late in establishing a dominant hand
• difficulty learning to tie shoes
• trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet
• can’t create words that rhyme
• has a close relative with dyslexia


In Elementary School:
• slow, choppy, inaccurate reading
• guesses at words, based on shape or context
• skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of)
• ignores suffixes
• can’t sound out unknown words
• terrible spelling
• consistently struggles with b-d confusion
• often can’t remember sight words (they, were,
does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)
• dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting
that is difficult to read)
• difficulty telling time on a clock with hands
• extreme difficulty learning cursive
• trouble with math
• difficulty memorizing multiplication tables
• continuing confusion with left versus right
• when speaking, difficulty finding the correct
word (lots of “whatyamacallits” and “thingies”)
• common sayings come out slightly twisted
• extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk
• dreads going to school

In High School:
All of the previous above symptoms plus:
• limited vocabulary
• extremely poor written expression
• large discrepancy between verbal skills
and written compositions
• unable to master a foreign language
• difficulty reading printed music
• poor grades in many classes
• may drop out of high school

In Adults:
Education history similar to above, plus:
• slow reader
• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to
understand it
• terrible speller
• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper
• dreads writing memos or letters
• still has difficulty with right versus left
• often gets lost, even in a familiar city
• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when tired or sick

Adapted and reprinted by permission of Susan Barton,      Bright Solutions For Dyslexia, Inc.

408-504-4435

Karen Isaacson © 2020