• Characteristics of Dyslexia

    The characteristics of dyslexia vary from person to person, as does the severity of the condition. Many young children exhibit one or more of the following characteristics, but that may not mean that they are dyslexic. No single symptom characterizes dyslexia.

    It is the persistent occurence of a number of these symptoms -- in spite of efforts to correct these weaknesses through proven interventions -- that will alert parents and teachers to the possibility of dyslexia. Interventions must have been documented before a diagnosis of dyslexia can be made.

    The primary difficulties of a student with dyslexia are in phonemic awareness and manipulation, single word decoding, spelling, and reading fluency. These difficulties can lead to problems in reading comprehension and writing.

    Generally, characteristics of dyslexia show up as difficulties with:

    Learning sound/letters correspondence
    Difficulty in learning to write the alphabet in sequence
    Having to sound out each letter when reading words
    Remembering basic sight words, especially irregular words that cannot be sounded out
    Reading real words in isolation
    Decoding nonsense or irregular words (such as two and does)
    Terrible spelling and handwriting, in spite of adequate spelling instruction and practice
    Letter transpositions, additions, omissions, and reversals
    Slow, labored and inaccurate oral reading
    Retention of information
    Poor reading comprehension, better listening comprehension
    Learning to tie shoes
    Directional confusion (left/right, over/under, before/after)
    Can't create words that rhyme
    Trouble telling time on clock with hands
    Mixing up the sounds and syllables in longer words
    Late in establishing a dominant hand
    Family history, ideally diagnosed and not just suspected

    Furthermore, these can be separated into two categories:

    Spoken language difficulties

    delayed speech
    mispronunciations, mixing up sounds and syllables in words
    difficulties with word retrieval, needing time to summon oral response
    confusing words that sound alike, saying "tornado" instead of "volcano"
    using imprecise language, saying "stuff", "things" instead of the proper name of an object. Using lots of "ums" during speaking, lack of quickness in speech
    pausing or hesitating often when speaking

    Reading difficulties
    slow progress in acquiring reading skills, in spite of educational opportunities
    lack of a strategy to read new, unknown words
    inability to read small function words such as that, an and in
    oral reading that is choppy and difficult to understand, filled with mispronounciations, substitutions, and omissions
    reading causes fatigue
    poor performance on multiple choice tests; grades do not reflect student's oral knowledge of subject
    requires quiet environment and extra effort to concentrate on reading