Your child will encounter several challenges during their education, so how can you tell if they have dyslexia? Do you know what to look for?
Dyslexia may make learning more difficult, but it does not need to hold them back from the love of learning. Early intervention is important to help your child thrive in learning and social environments.
In this guide, we're going to break down the signs of dyslexia in children so you can determine if that's why your child is struggling. There are common signs that you can start noticing in preschool, and as they grow up they will become more obvious.
Once you have a dyslexia diagnosis, you can start getting your child the help they need. Check out our website and request a tour so you can visit us to learn more.
1. They Are Behind on Language Skills
The first signs of dyslexia happen in pre-school when your child should be developing their speech. Being slower to process language, continuing to baby talk, or having trouble with pronunciation are all signs of dyslexia.
Most dyslexic children start speaking later than their peers, and it may be hard for them to remember their letters. They may also have trouble recognizing patterns at this age. For instance, they may struggle to remember common nursery rhymes that most children can memorize.
If your child is slow to develop speech, they may become easily frustrated because they can't express themselves. It may be hard to understand what they want or are trying to communicate.
If you regularly have experiences like this with your child, consult a specialist who can determine whether or not they are dyslexic. If it's caught early on, you can help your child adjust to their learning difficulties and stay on track with their peers.
2. They Are Behind on Reading and Writing Skills
As your child starts to learn how to read and write in grade school, the signs of dyslexia will become more obvious. They may read more slowly than their peers, mix up letters, struggle to write, or fail to connect letters into sounds.
Other common signs at this stage include:
- Writing letters backward
- Misspelling simple words
- They have trouble with phonics
- They write slowly
- They struggle with sequences
- They don't follow instructions well
- They have difficulty reading what they write
- Their handwriting is messy
- They repeatedly make writing and grammar errors
Children with dyslexia often complain that the words on the page are blurry or out of order. It may even look like the words are moving around the page to them. If your child starts complaining about this, it's a good idea to get them tested so they can start incorporating new strategies to learn.
The older your child gets, the harder it is to navigate school when they are behind on their reading and writing skills. Once they start getting homework, you may notice that it takes them a long time to complete basic assignments.
Additionally, it may take them longer to finish tests than other students. This is why early diagnosis is important for children with dyslexia. Once they have a diagnosis, they may be able to get extra time on tests and assignments at school.
3. They Are Behind on Social Skills
Learning disabilities can make children feel insecure, which leads to them withdrawing socially. They may feel embarrassed by their struggles, so they avoid participating in activities like reading out loud or contributing to a group presentation.
If they are struggling to communicate with their peers, it may feel easier to withdraw and stay silent instead. They may stumble through their words and may frequently say "um" or "uh."
Treatments for dyslexia can help your child catch up on their reading and writing skills, which will give them more confidence. Treatment plans can also include developing their social skills. Let's explore what a dyslexia diagnosis means next.
What Does a Dyslexia Diagnosis Mean?
If your child is diagnosed with dyslexia, that does not mean that they are not smart. In fact, the two things are not related. Children with dyslexia can still be very intelligent. They may do an extremely good job answering questions orally, but then struggle to answer written questions.
If your child feels insecure about their intelligence, it's important to reassure them. Everyone learns differently, and they simply have more difficulties than some of their friends. Be sure to tell them they are still smart.
Once your child is diagnosed, they can start getting help. Sessions with a speech therapist or reading specialist can help them improve their skills. They can also teach them techniques to use in school and with homework to make it easier to understand.
Your child's school can also work with you to create a personalized education plan. Stay in close communication with their teacher to track their progress as they incorporate new learning tactics.
Know the Signs of Dyslexia to Get Your Child the Help They Need
The signs of dyslexia are not always easy to see, but if you pay attention to your child's learning journey, you can catch them early enough to intervene. The younger dyslexic children can start treatments, the better.
The best thing for your child may be a non-traditional educational environment where they are empowered to thrive. At the Sage School in Suwanee, Georgia, we recognize that all students are unique and create the learning situation that they need to succeed.