Dyslexia: Signs

Estimated reading: 2 minutes

As teachers, it’s critical to be able to identify the signs of students with potential dyslexia at an early age to ensure they get the right kind of early intervention. Here are some signs to watch for: 


  • May talk later than most children.
  • May have difficulty rhyming.
  • May have difficulty pronouncing words.
  • May have poor auditory memory for nursery rhymes and chants.
  • May be slow to add new vocabulary.
  • May be unable to recall the right words.
  • May have trouble learning numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, and how to spell his/her name.

Kindergarten to Third Grade:

  • Fails to understand that words come apart (into syllables or sounds)
  • Has difficulty learning letter names and corresponding sounds.
  • Has difficulty decoding single words (reading words in isolation).
  • Has difficulty spelling phonetically.
  • Reading is choppy and labored.
  • Relies on context to recognize words. 

Fourth Grade to High School: 

  • Has a history of reading and spelling difficulties.
  • Avoids reading aloud.
  • Reads most materials slowly; oral reading is labored, not fluent.
  • Avoids reading for pleasure.
  • May have an inadequate vocabulary.
  • Has difficulty spelling; may resort to less complicated words which are easier to spell. 

If you have a student who displays these signs or score low in screening assessments, you may want to recommend them for further testing for possible dyslexia or a learning disability in reading. For more information visit www.interdys.org