Handwriting Occupational Therapy

Recognizing the Red Flags for Dyslexia

Your child may show signs of dyslexia as early as their preschool years. Children with dyslexic dysgraphia have handwriting work that’s spontaneous and illegible. While they have fairly good copied work, they typically have poor spelling.

As a parent, you may have heard dyslexia or a reading disability can’t be diagnosed until your child is in the third grade. However, this isn’t exactly true. In fact, the sooner you catch a problem with your child’s reading, the sooner you’ll be able to get them the help they need. Early intervention may even have a huge impact on your child’s dyslexia.

So, starting in your child’s early years straight through their adulthood, here are the signs to look for.

Red Flags for Dyslexia

The most apparent sign of dyslexia, by definition, is trouble with reading or learning how to read. But, there are other red flags to look for even before you notice your child having problems with reading instructions. These include:

  • Pretends regularly to read books that aren’t within their reading capability — false representation of reading skills.
  • Avoids reading in general.
  • Struggles with written expression (i.e. offering hardly anything but poorly composed and short responses) in all subjects.
  • Unable to recall or discuss much of what their reading in books.
  • Strains to keep pace with their class’s writing and reading expectations.
  • A unique gap between written and oral expression (i.e. being able to lead discussions, but has trouble with written assessments that cover the same subject).
  • Problems with behavior and attention in general (exhibits overall restlessness in the classroom or takes bathroom breaks frequently).
  • Persistent trouble in being able to follow written instructions on assessments and assignments
  • Trouble with deciphering new words (i.e. places and names) when reading out loud
  • Avoids school (complains of stomach aches or headaches frequently; makes other excuses to stay home from school).
  • Struggles with proper word pronunciation distinguished by accompanying vowel sound confusion.
  • A continuous sense of anxiety towards school.
  • Trouble learning a different language.
  • Obvious decrease in math performance when it involves word problems.

If you notice any of these red flags above in your child, talk with a pediatric occupational therapist that can devise and implement intervention strategies. You’ll also want to talk with their teacher as well to see if they notice any of these signs too. They may be able to provide your child with additional practice time and extra assignments to help them develop these necessary skills.

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