If your child is struggling to keep up at school, there may be several
contributing factors including dyslexia. About 80% of students with learning
disabilities have dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that makes
it difficult for students to read, recognize symbols and interpret words.
Dyslexia is the most common learning disorder and it stays with children
throughout their lives. It’s often the parents who recognize that
there is something amiss and it’s crucial to identify dyslexia as
soon as possible in order to help your child to learn in a way that suits
Delayed speech: As a baby, the dyslexic child will have trouble learning to speak. Although
they will master speech successfully, they will be late starters in this
area. They may also mix up sounds or use the incorrect words in sentences.
Dyslexic children also have trouble pronouncing R’s and L’s
as well as M’s and N’s well into the third and fourth grades.
Dominance issues: Dyslexic children often don’t establish a dominant side until really
late in life. They will not be able to tell the difference between left
and right and may be a little clumsy. They will use their hands interchangeably
i.e. they usually establish dominance around 7 or 8, but might still use
one hand to draw and another to play sports.
Switching the order of numbers and letters: This commonly occurs with children who are learning to read, but if the
problem persists after the age of seven or eight it should be addressed.
Children who have dyslexia will also read very slowly and have great trouble
Trouble copying work from the board or from a book: Difficulty interpreting words and symbols will mean that the dyslexic
child will have great difficulty copying work down. There will also be
a general disorganization of words and letters on a written page. They
will have trouble learning letters and the order they appear in the alphabet.
Disparity between reading and learning: You will see your child learn very quickly in other areas, but fall behind
in lessons that are text related. This also translates into a difficulty
with handwriting and trouble learning to spell words correctly. They will
find it difficult to recognize rhyming words, even if they read books
like Dr. Seuss, they will not be able to tell you that cat rhymes with hat.
Math problems: Dyslexia is not restricted to reading and you may find your child has
trouble with math too. Symbols and numbers are just as difficult for the
dyslexic to interpret as letters are.
Early signs of dyslexia require further investigation. If you suspect your
child may have a learning disorder, seek the council of a developmental
psychologist who can not only test your child to identify leaning difficulties,
but they can also help you and your child to overcome learning problems.