Dyslexia Symptoms Age by Age

Dyslexia Symptoms Age by Age

Dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts an individual’s reading ability. The International Dyslexia Association claims that approximately 15-20% of the population shows signs of dyslexia. The disorder presents differently depending on the stage of life. Understanding the various symptoms of dyslexia by age is essential for early intervention and implementation of critical supports.

Early Childhood Dyslexia Symptoms

The earliest dyslexia symptoms may be noticeable as early as one to two years of age, as children begin learning to speak. A child delayed in saying their first words until 15 months is more likely to develop dyslexia. A child from a family with a history of difficulties in reading is also at elevated risk of dyslexia. Additional warning signs that are common before age five include the following:

• Extended use of baby talk
• Mispronunciation of common words
• Difficulty learning the alphabet
• Trouble learning nursery rhymes
• Inability to recognize letters in their name
• Inability to distinguish rhyming patterns

Dyslexia Symptoms in Early Grades

Dyslexia symptoms become more apparent in children around ages five or six as they enter school and begin learning to read. Reading disabilities are more easily identifiable starting in kindergarten. Signs that a child in kindergarten or first grade may be at risk of dyslexia include the following:

• Attempts to avoid school
• Problems with pronunciation
• Difficulty sounding out basic words
• Trouble associating letters with sounds
• Inability to grasp how words separate into sounds
• Feeling that reading is difficult

Dyslexia Symptoms in Middle School

Elementary school teachers are not certified to diagnose dyslexia, and many don’t have the appropriate training to recognize the symptoms. Children with dyslexia who are well-behaved and intelligent may not draw attention to their difficulties, which may cause them to fall behind by the time they reach middle school. Symptoms to watch for include:

• Slow, awkward reading
• Avoidance of reading aloud
• Difficulty in finding the right word to answer a question
• Mispronunciation of unknown or complicated words
• Difficulty in sounding out unfamiliar words
• Extensive use of inexact, vague terms
• Frequent use of “umm” when talking
• Mixing up sound-alike words
• Illegible handwriting
• Difficulty remembering names, dates, and other details

Dyslexia Symptoms in High School and College

High school and college students with dyslexia may read considerably slower and experience difficulties completing multiple-choice tests and timed essays. Foreign languages may also prove difficult to learn.

Dyslexia Symptoms in Adults

Up to 20% of the population in the United States may suffer from dyslexia, though the exact number is challenging for researchers to pin down. For adults who were never diagnosed with the disorder, the following symptoms may indicate its existence:

• Trouble with math
• Lack of interest in reading
• Difficulty summarizing reading content
• Struggle with memorization or repetition
• Difficulty understanding puns and jokes
• Issues with time management

Seeking Help for Dyslexia

For individuals who experience the symptoms of dyslexia or notice them in their children, it is crucial to seek an evaluation using tools like the Tests of Dyslexia (TOD). The support that comes with an official diagnosis can make a big difference in academic success and navigating life’s challenges. Learn more at WPS about how to help kids in school using dyslexia assessment tools.

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