Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia

I am often asked about the signs and symptoms of dyslexia. Commonly, it is thought that reading and spelling words backwards is the surest sign of dyslexia. However, despite the fact that this is the most stereotypically recognized symptom of dyslexia, it is actually rather rare,  and a symptom that most dyslexics do not have.  In my years as a dyslexia tutor, I have only had a couple of students display this symptom, and even then, it was not a consistent behavior. The actual signs and symptoms of dyslexia can vary greatly from individual to individual, making it challenging to diagnose without the proper background knowledge. However, there are some indicators that tend to be very common and widespread. They are:

– Difficulty learning letters and their sounds

– Difficulty learning the connections between letters and sounds

– Difficulty reading

– The mixing up of  “b”, “d”, “p”, and “q”

–  A Tendency to skip words when reading

– Difficulty spelling

– Difficulty reading single words in isolation

– Confusing small words like “to” and “at”

– Reversing words such as “top” for “pot”

– Substitution of synonyms for words

– Difficulty doing math

– Difficulty writing coherent sentences

These are some typical signs and symptoms of dyslexia that I see on a regular basis in my work. This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list, but it is a sample of areas that a dyslexic may find challenging. A dyslexic may show all of the signs, or only one or two of them.  For more detailed information, you might want to check out our “About Dyslexia” page.


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