Dyslexia symptoms can be difficult to recognize before your child enters school, but some early clues may indicate a problem. Once your child reaches school age, your child's teacher may be the first to notice a problem. The condition often becomes apparent as a child starts learning to read.

Before school

Signs and symptoms that a young child may be at risk of dyslexia include:

  • Late talking
  • Learning new words slowly
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty playing rhyming games

School age

Once your child is in school, dyslexia signs and symptoms may become more apparent, including:

  • Reading well below the expected level for your child's age
  • Problems processing and understanding what he or she hears
  • Difficulty comprehending rapid instructions
  • Problems remembering the sequence of things
  • Difficulty seeing (and occasionally hearing) similarities and differences in letters and words
  • Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Trouble learning a foreign language

Teens and adults

Dyslexia symptoms in teens and adults are similar to those in children. Though early intervention is beneficial for dyslexia treatment, it's never too late to seek help. Some common dyslexia symptoms in teens and adults include:

  • Difficulty reading, including reading aloud
  • Trouble understanding jokes or expressions that have a meaning not easily understood from the specific words (idioms), such as "piece of cake" meaning "easy"
  • Difficulty with time management
  • Difficulty summarizing a story
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty memorizing
  • Difficulty doing math problems

When to see a doctor

Dyslexia is characterized by a delay in the age at which a child begins to read. Most children are ready to learn reading by kindergarten or first grade, but children with dyslexia often can't grasp the basics of reading by that time.

Talk with your doctor if your child's reading level is below what's expected for his or her age or if you notice other signs or symptoms of dyslexia. When dyslexia goes undiagnosed and untreated, childhood reading difficulties continue into adulthood.

Aug. 08, 2014

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