Dyslexia symptoms

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Dyslexia on June 27, 2022
Dyslexia is a well-known learning disability. However, not all people know its symptoms or how to recognize them. This article will explain dyslexia symptoms in detail.

    Learning disabilities like dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present challenges for children, young people, and grownups alike. In particular, dyslexia symptoms can hinder learning, make it harder to learn a foreign language, and impair reading comprehension.

    Fortunately, there are many tools available today to help people with dyslexia. But before applying modern solutions to the issue, it would be best to understand what dyslexia is and its symptoms.

    What is dyslexia?

    As a learning disability, dyslexia causes writing and reading difficulties and generally affects language skills. However, dyslexic people don’t have to display these issues. Dyslexia essentially affects how people process information, which can have different expressions. Dyslexic people may have problems with time management and organization.

    It’s worth noting that dyslexia doesn’t affect general mental health or intelligence. For instance, dyslexic people may have learning problems but are exceptional at creative skills or critical thinking.

    Dyslexia is relatively widespread. Precise percentages of dyslexic people among the population vary between different sources, but all estimates range between five and twenty percent. The varying statisitcs might be due to a lack of recognition of different dyslexia types. If you’re not an expert on the subject, this might be the first time you have learned that there’s more than one type of this learning disability.

    Generally speaking, dyslexia can fall into four types:

    • Phonological
    • Surface
    • Rapid naming deficit
    • Double deficit

    Each type is associated with different symptoms. Phonological dyslexia causes issues with phonics – the relationship between the written and sound forms of letters or syllables. People with surface dyslexia have problems decoding or recognizing words. This type likely connects with visual processing.

    Rapid naming deficit dyslexia makes it difficult to name particular terms like a letter, object, number, or color. As a result, sufferers may take extra time to name such terms. Finally, double deficit dyslexia combines the phonological and rapid naming deficit types. The double deficit type usually occurs in people with severe reading problems.

    Symptoms of dyslexia also differ by age group. Let’s look at how these symptoms manifest at different ages.

    The common symptoms of dyslexia

    Signs of dyslexia can appear at different ages. Of course, symptoms will not be the same between all age groups. We can divide symptoms as they emerge into four groups:

    Pre-school symptoms

    • Delayed speech  Young children with dyslexia may start speaking later than usual.
    • Trouble learning new words: Dyslexic children aged five or up can find it hard to learn unfamiliar words.
    • Mispronouncing words and sound reversals: Children with dyslexia can reverse letters or syllables or mistake familiar words that sound similar.
    • Issues with naming: Dyslexic children can struggle to remember the right words for numbers, colors, or letters.
    • Rhyming difficulties: A child with dyslexia may have trouble learning rhyming games and nursery rhymes.

    Elementary school symptoms

    • Reading skills below the age level
    • Issues understanding and processing spoken words, sentences, and speech sounds
    • Difficulty answering questions in terms of finding the right word
    • Problems in sequential memory
    • Poor recognition of different (or similar) words and letters
    • Hard pronunciation of unfamiliar words
    • Poor spelling

    High school/teen symptoms

    • History of specific learning disabilities
    • Poor reading skills
    • Low self-esteem when reading aloud
    • Anxious, less fluent, and imprecise speaking
    • Incorrect word pronunciation
    • Confusing similar names
    • Limited spoken vocabulary
    • Struggling with multiple-choice tests
    • Extreme reading fatigue

    Adult symptoms

    • Poorly written expression and organization
    • Difficulty writing reports or letters
    • Difficulties revising for examinations
    • Avoiding writing and reading
    • Issues copying text or taking notes
    • Poor spelling
    • Difficulties remembering phone numbers, PINs, and similar information
    • Struggling with deadlines

    Testing for dyslexia

    Experts can determine dyslexia using specialized tests. These tests can identify certain common traits that might indicate the presence of this learning disorder.

    Generally, dyslexic children can show exceptional intelligence but have a lower reading level than what’s typical for their age. They might also appear to behave problematically or put in less effort in their activities. However, these labels are inaccurate and can cause self-esteem issues.

    People with dyslexia are often talented in arts, sports, sales, business, engineering, and other areas. On the other hand, they have issues maintaining focus and learning through conventional methods, which can impair their performance.

    Spelling and reading difficulties are the most well-known signs of dyslexia and may accompany speaking and hearing difficulties. Additionally, specific motor skills like writing and fine motor skills can be underdeveloped, although dyslexic people are often ambidextrous.

    Time management and math can also represent problems, especially when it comes to higher math problems.

    Speechify – the text to speech reader for dyslexic people

    We’ve mentioned tools that can help dyslexic people thrive. Text to speech engines certainly fall into that category, and Speechify stands out among them.

    Speechify can translate any text into speech. This feature can significantly help people with dyslexia as it can assist in reading and effectively remove common issues associated with dyslexia. Consequently, Speechify may improve learning skills and allow dyslexic people to enjoy literature unhindered.

    You can try Speechify for free today by visiting www.speechify.com.


    What are the four types of dyslexia?

    The four types of dyslexia are phonological, surface, rapid naming deficit, and double deficit dyslexia.

    Can you be slightly dyslexic?

    Since dyslexia exists on a spectrum, it’s possible to have a mild form of dyslexia.

    When do signs of dyslexia appear?

    The first signs of dyslexia can appear at different ages. The earliest symptoms may show before the age of five.

    Can dyslexia be cured?

    There are currently no methods for curing dyslexia. However, many tools can help dyslexic people achieve their potential and live fulfilled lives.

    What is the most common type of dyslexia?

    Phonological dyslexia is the type most often associated with this learning disability.

    What is the difference between dyslexia and dyscalculia?

    While dyslexia and dyscalculia may appear similar, they are different at their core. Dyslexia mainly affects language processing in terms of reading and writing. Dyscalculia impacts a person’s ability to process numbers, space, and time. Dyscalculia can also come with specific dyslexia symptoms.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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