Because dyslexia symptoms and even the definition of dyslexia vary widely, the following red flag list summarizes many of the symptoms of learning problems - whether true dyslexia or other learning issues that deserve a second look.
The first few symptoms describe what many of us associate with dyslexia.
The following lists many observations of students with learning problems:
- reversals of letters and words when learning to read
- difficulty in direction and laterality
- continued uncertainty of left and right handedness
- uneven levels in academic achievement in various testing situations
- persistent spelling errors
- short attention span
- difficulty in handling symbols
- difficulty in abstract thinking
- poor auditory discrimination
- poor recall - inability to retain
- poor fine muscle control
- inability to generalize
- difficulty with mathematical skills
- difficulty writing on a straight line
- cramped or illegible handwriting
- difficulty connecting horizontal and vertical lines
- demonstration of excessive submissiveness or aggression
- normal intelligence with patchy defects
- difficulty in finding the "right" word when speaking
- tendency toward familial problems
- excessive yawning and sleepiness in class
(Fass,1976; Brutten,1973; Myers and Hammill,1969)
Symptoms of Dyslexia
Other symptoms of dyslexia and other learning problems include:
- Transposition of letters or words
(i.e.,bat for tab or how for who)
- Difficulty with relationships
- Low self-esteem or confidence (because of academic struggles)
- Struggles with organization and long-term planning
- Difficulty with reading speed or fluency
- Awkwardness or clumsiness
The above is not an exhaustive list!
Each child (or adult) will not display all of the above signs. Yet with a true learning disability, chances are they will display many more than just one.
Learning Disabilities in a Nutshell
To put it in a nutshell, a child with a learning disability normally has an average to above average IQ (Intelligence Quotient), but struggles academically. This may also be displayed with behavioral or emotional problems.
It is not at all unusual for a child with dyslexia symptoms (or other learning disability) to understand a concept one day, and completely forget it the next! This leads to extreme frustration on the part of the child (as well as the teacher or parent) and may result in behavioral meltdowns.
Please keep in mind though, that the behavior isn't the problem. The learning difficulty is.
That's why it is so important to get testing and intervention as early as possible.
Doing so will save you and your child a lot of grief.