If a child has several of these indications, further investigation should be made. The child may be dyslexic, or there may be other reasons. This is not a checklist.
There are many persisting factors in dyslexia, which can appear from an early age. They will still be noticeable when the dyslexic child leaves school. These include:
- Obvious ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days, for no apparent reason.
- Confusion between directional words, e.g. up/down, in/out.
- Difficulty with sequence, e.g. coloured bead sequence, later with days of the week or numbers.
- A family history of dyslexia/reading difficulties.
- Has persistent jumbled phrases, e.g. ‘cobbler’s club’ for ‘toddler’s club’
- Use of substitute words e.g. ‘lampshade’ for ‘lamppost’.
- Inability to remember the label for known objects, e.g. ‘table, chair’.
- Difficulty learning nursery rhymes and rhyming words, e.g. ‘cat, mat, sat’.
- Later than expected speech development.
Pre-school non-language indicators.
- May have walked early but did not crawl – was a ‘bottom shuffler’ or ‘tummy wriggler’.
- Persistent difficulties in getting dressed efficiently and putting shoes on the correct feet.
- Enjoys being read to but shows no interest in letters or words.
- Is often accused of not listening or paying attention.
- Excessive tripping, bumping into things and falling over.
- Difficulty with catching, kicking or throwing a ball; with hopping and/or skipping.
- Difficulty with clapping a simple rhythm.
Primary school age.
- Has particular difficulty with reading and spelling.
- Puts letters and figures the wrong way round.
- Has difficulty remembering tables, alphabet, formulae etc.
- Leaves letters out of words or puts them in the wrong order.
- Still occasionally confuses ‘b’ and ‘d’ and words such as ‘no/on’.
- Still needs to use fingers or marks on paper to make simple calculations.
- Poor concentration.
- Has problems understanding what he/she has read.
- Takes longer than average to do written work.
- Problems processing language at speed.
Primary school age non-language indicators:
- Has difficulty with tying shoe laces, tie, dressing.
- Has difficulty telling left from right, order of days of the week, months of the year etc.
- Surprises you because in other ways he/she is bright and alert.
- Has a poor sense of direction and still confuses left and right.
- Lacks confidence and has a poor self image.
Aged 12 or over.
- As for primary schools, plus:
- Still reads inaccurately.
- Still has difficulties in spelling.
- Needs to have instructions and telephone numbers repeated.
- Gets ‘tied up’ using long words, e.g. ‘preliminary’, ‘philosophical’.
- Confuses places, times, dates.
- Has difficulty with planning and writing essays.
- Has difficulty processing complex language or long series of instructions at speed.
Aged 12 or over non-language indicators:
- Has poor confidence and self-esteem.
- Has areas of strength as well as weakness.