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What are the indications of dyslexia in school children?
One of the most marked characteristics of dyslexic children is the surprising difficulty they have at school when it is clear that they are at least as able as others who have no problems. There is also a tendency for unaccountably “bad days” when they seem unable to do what they can on a “good day”. Different age groups present problems in varying ways.
For children aged 9 or under
- Particular difficulty learning to read, write and spell.
- Persistent and continued reversing of numbers and letters,(e.g. 15 for 51, ‘b’ for ‘d’).
- Difficulty telling left from right.
- Difficulty learning the alphabet/multiplication tables, and remembering sequences such as days of the week and months of the year.
- Difficulty copying text.
- Continued difficulty with shoelaces, ball catching and skipping etc.
- Inattention and poor concentration.
- Frustration, possibly leading to behavioural problems.
- Difficulty following instructions – verbal and/or written.
- Confusion with spatial relationships, such as up-down, over-under, top-bottom.
For children aged 9 to 12
- Continued mistakes in reading, and/or a lack of reading comprehension.
- Strange spelling – perhaps with letters missed out or in the wrong order.
- Taking longer than average over written work.
- Disorganisation at home and at school.
- Difficulty copying accurately from blackboard or textbook.
- Difficulty remembering and processing oral instructions.
- An inability to remember number facts, including tables is often shown.
- Difficulties in the recognition of geometric shapes.
- Growing lack of self-confidence and increasing frustration.
For pupils aged 12 and over
- Tendency to read inaccurately, or without adequate comprehension.
- Inconsistent spelling.
- Difficulty with planning and writing essays.
- Tendency to confuse verbal instructions and telephone numbers.
- Severe difficulty in learning a foreign language.
- Mathematical problems are not understood and therefore the processes to resolve them are inaccurate and misinformed.
- Low self-esteem.
- Difficulty with perception of language, e.g. following instructions, listening comprehension.
N.B. Not all dyslexic children/pupils will display all of these characteristics.
I was never any good at school, could I be dyslexic?
Answer the following questions:
- Do you find difficulty telling left from right?
- Is map reading or finding your way to a strange place confusing?
- Do you dislike reading aloud?
- Do you dislike reading long books?
- Is your spelling and/or handwriting poor?
- Do you avoid writing letters and reports?
- Do you sometimes jumble long words?
- Do you sometimes dial telephone numbers in the wrong order?
- Do you get confused if you have to speak in public?
- Do you find it difficult to take messages on the telephone and pass them on correctly?
- Do you find it difficult to do sums your head without using your fingers or paper?
- Do you mix up bus numbers like 95 and 59?
- Did you find it hard to learn your multiplication tables at school?
- Do you find form-filling difficult?
- Do you confuse dates and times and sometimes miss appointments?
- Do you have poor organisation on skills?
If the answer to a lot of these questions is “yes”, you might well be dyslexic, but you would need to get an assessment from a dyslexia specialist to confirm this.
See: Frequently Asked Questions and Leaflets about Dyslexia and SpLD to find out how to get an assessment and also how to get help.