On today’s post I am going to share the most common warning signs of dyslexia.  Dyslexia is really common and 1 in every 5 kids in the classroom has it.  These warning signs can begin as early as preschool.   So, if you are wondering if your child might have dyslexia, here are 6 major signs to look for:

1. Your Child Reverses or Jumbles Letters

If your child reverses the letters b and d or p and q or writes the letters m for w, they might have dyslexia.  These letters may be flipped vertically or horizontally.  The word “now” can become “won.”  You child might also mirror write entire sentences.  Reversals in children under the age of 8 are normal, however by third grade this should be a thing of the past.  At this point, if your child is still reversing letters and numbers or mirror writing, this is a huge red flag for dyslexia.


2. Your Child Has Difficulties Recalling Words When Talking or Writing a Story  

“Mom, can you get me that thing,” or “hand me that stuff.”  If simple words don’t always flow out of your child’s mouth so easily, they might have dyslexia.  Kids with dyslexia fill their sentences with pronouns or words lacking in specificity. Filler words like “um” may be used to take up time while your child tries to remember a word.   A child with dyslexia knows exactly what she or he wants to say; the difficulty is with pulling out the right words. When a dyslexic child is asked to write a story, often they can’t think of the word they want to use or can’t figure out how to spell it.  Recalling names, reciting the months of the year in order, or even remembering the days of the week can be a real problem for a dyslexic child.


3. Your Child Makes Many Spelling Errors, and Spells Things Phonetically

If your child spells words exactly as they sound without applying any spelling rules, they might have dyslexia.  Dyslexics use highly phoneticized spelling when writing. For example, “sed” for “said” or “shud” for “should” is a common difficulty for dyslexics.  Children with dyslexia also have difficulties distinguishing among homophones, such as “there” and “their.”  These kids might also reverse the order of two letters, especially when they involve double vowels, writing “dose” for “does.”  Sometimes, the vowels are just left out altogether.  


4. Your Child Uses Substitutions When Reading

If your child substitutes a word that means the same thing but doesn’t look at all similar while reading a story, they might have dyslexia.  For example saying the word “trip” while reading the word “journey,” or saying the word “house” while reading the word “home” are examples of substitutions while reading.


5. Your Child Has Horrible Handwriting

If your child has really poor, illegible handwriting filled with spelling errors, they probably have dyslexia.  Some of the main signs of this type of poor handwriting include:

  • Tight and unusual pencil grip
  • Writes letters with unusual starting and ending points
  • Unusual spatial organization on the paper and not following the margins or keeping the letters on the horizontal lines.
  • Difficulties with punctuation, not applying capital letters and adding major run-ons and sentences with fragments.


6. Your Child Has Incredible Gifts That Are Not Reading Related

Dr. Sally Shaywitz, one of the nation’s leading researchers in the field of dyslexia describes dyslexia as “a weakness in a sea of strengths.”  Because dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence, a child may have talents and abilities in other areas of the brain not related to language.  Some are good at mechanical, artistic or spatial tasks. Some kids might have incredible social skills, extensive oral vocabularies and analytical skills that are very strong.  Some kids are natural leaders and are socially perceptive. In fact, some of the world’s best thinkers, celebrities, entrepreneurs and billionaires also happen to have dyslexia!

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy reading Homeschooling with Dyslexia.  

If you need an Orton-Gillingham Reading Curriculum for kids with dyslexia, check out The PRIDE Reading Program.

Thank you so much for reading my post today!


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at info@pridereadingprogram.com or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com