During my research on dyslexia as a mom on a quest, I came across a common thread of alarming signs to be on the lookout for catching dyslexia early. To our surprise, our almost 7-year-old had none of the early signs for the younger group, yet hit a brick wall in first grade when he turned 7. It was as if all the symptoms appeared in a few months period.

If you are in search of a quick checklist:

For younger children ages 3-7:

-          Trouble with nursery rhymes

-          Do not recognize rhyming patterns

-          Cannot learn or remember names of the letters in the alphabet

-          Mispronounce familiar words

-          Do not understand that words come apart

-          Do not associate letters with sounds

-          Difficulty blending in sounds in words; t-a-p: tap

-          Difficulty separating sounds in simple words; cat: c-a-t

-          Trouble learning rote information; days of the week, months of the year

-          Cannot sound out simple words; dog or big

For older children ages 7 and older:

-          Reverse letters; b / d, w / m, p / q

-          Reverse words; pit vs tip, on vs no

-          Cannot read new words

-          Memorize text rather than reading

-          Substitute words while reading; dog vs puppy, ship vs boat

-          Confuse words that sound or look similar such as “smell and small” or “kick and lick”

-          Difficulty memorizing rote information

-          Do not advance in reading skills

-          Complains about how hard reading is

-          Avoid reading aloud

-          Have a messy handwriting and poor spelling

In addition:

-          Show low self-esteem and confidence in spite of being bright

-          Resist to attending school

-          Have family members with reading problems

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