How to tell if my kid is dyslexic

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Here’s everything you need to know to answer a common question many parents ask: “How to tell if my kid is dyslexic?”

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How to tell if my kid is dyslexic

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders, affecting a staggering 15% of the U.S. population. Children with dyslexia have multiple reading problems that significantly impact the development of their reading skills. Although dyslexia can’t be cured, parents can implement various reading strategies and use dyslexia tools that can help struggling readers with their learning process.

For this reason, it’s essential to spot early symptoms of dyslexia to ensure that dyslexic children receive the necessary assistance as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn how to tell if your kid has dyslexia. 

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that primarily affects the skills involved in accurately reading, writing, and spelling. Despite a common misconception, dyslexia isn’t a learning disability. Therefore, it has nothing to do with intelligence and occurs across a wide range of intellectual abilities.

Information processing is what’s affected by dyslexia. Individuals with this learning disorder have difficulty remembering information and processing data they see and hear. These challenges affect their learning patterns and the acquisition of literacy skills. As a result, the reading level of people with dyslexia often doesn’t match their age.

Slow reading can lead to low self-esteem and a strong dislike for school and learning. Parents should be on the lookout for common signs of dyslexia that can help them provide dyslexic children with the special education they require.

The signs of dyslexia to look for in children

Many parents mistakenly believe that dyslexia symptoms can only be spotted when the child is of school age, typically during the first grade of primary school. However, the truth is that you can detect the warning signs much sooner if you know what to observe.

Here are some tell-tale signs of dyslexia across different ages and grade levels.


The signs of dyslexia can emerge as early as when children are one or two years of age. Basically, they can become apparent once the child starts making sounds. A dyslexic child of preschool age might:

  • Start talking later than their peers

  • Struggle with mispronouncing words

  • Adopt new words slower than their peers

  • Be unable to recall the right word

  • Have difficulty rhyming and learning nursery rhymes

  • Have trouble interacting with peers

  • Develop fine motor skills more slowly

  • Have difficulty retelling a story in the correct order

  • Have problems remembering the letters of the alphabet, numerals, the days of the week, shapes, and colors

Kindergarten and elementary school

Once the child starts kindergarten and school, parents and the child’s teacher can spot the signs of dyslexia more clearly. After all, children start using letters and numbers daily, which makes it relatively easy to spot if they have difficulty reading or learning.

In addition, it becomes easier to notice symptoms of other disorders that often co-exist with dyslexia, such as dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD.

At the kindergarten or elementary school level, a young child with dyslexia might:

  • Have difficulty decoding individual words

  • Have poor phonological awareness

  • Develop poor spelling skills

  • Have difficulty reading, even with familiar words

  • Have messy handwriting with many letter reversals

  • Confuse arithmetic signs 

  • Have problems learning to tell time

  • Be prone to accidents and impulsive

  • Have difficulty planning

High school

The signs of dyslexia in teens closely resemble those in elementary school children. However, since the difficulty and variety of tasks increase with the grade level, individuals with dyslexia can experience additional symptoms. Consequently, a dyslexic learner in high school might:

  • Avoid activities involving reading

  • Take unusually long to complete tasks involving reading or writing

  • Have trouble summarizing a story

  • Struggle learning a foreign language

  • Have trouble doing math word problems

Speechify – Helping kids with dyslexia

Suppose you spot any of the common signs of dyslexia. In that case, it’s crucial to get your child tested for dyslexia before coming to any definite conclusion. If your child receives a dyslexia diagnosis, don’t panic. Numerous tools and techniques can help you teach your children to read.

One of the most advanced tools at your disposal is text to speech (TTS) software programs like Speechify. Speechify uses artificial intelligence to convert any digital text into spoken words. As such, it can help struggling readers understand the rules of phonics and navigate school material more efficiently.

Speechify can also benefit older students at college level. It offers a unique feature that allows you to export audio files. As a result, college students with dyslexia can memorize their lecture notes and study materials on the go. It even features optical character recognition (OCR) functionality, enabling text extraction from scanned PDF files and study materials.

Best of all, you can try Speechify for free today and see how this powerful tool can help individuals with dyslexia.


What are the red flags of dyslexia?

Regardless of age, several common red flags might indicate the individual in question has dyslexia. These include difficulties:

  • Pronouncing words correctly

  • Reading at the appropriate age level

  • Spelling

  • Remembering and recalling information

What are the four types of dyslexia?

There aren’t any official diagnostic types of dyslexia. However, this learning disorder has been classified into four categories based on its symptoms to facilitate the adoption of an appropriate learning strategy:

  • Phonological dyslexia

  • Surface dyslexia

  • Rapid naming dyslexia

  • Double deficit dyslexia

How do you test for dyslexia?

There isn’t a single test that can diagnose dyslexia. Rather, the individual displaying symptoms undergoes a complete evaluation to identify areas of weakness indicative of dyslexia. The evaluation considers numerous factors, including the individual’s development, educational challenges, and medical family history. 

What is the most common type of dyslexia?

Phonological dyslexia is the most common type of dyslexia. It deals with difficulties in matching individual sounds to their symbols and breaking down the sounds in a word or decoding the word.

What is the International Dyslexia Association?

The International Dyslexia Association is an education and advocacy organization committed to issues surrounding dyslexia. This organization provides information and support to individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field.

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