The signs and symptoms of dyslexia differ from person to person. Each individual with the condition will have a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses.
- Problems learning the names and sounds of letters
- Spelling that is unpredictable and inconsistent
- Putting letters and figures the wrong way around, such as writing ‘6’ instead of ‘9’, or ‘b’ instead of ‘d’.
- Confusing the letter order of words
- Reading slowly or making significant errors when reading aloud
- Visual disturbances when reading (e.g. a child may describe letters and words as seeming to move around or appear blurred)
- Answering questions well orally, but having difficulty writing the answer down
- Difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions
- Struggling to learn sequences, such as days of the week or the alphabet
- Slow writing speed
- Poor handwriting
- Problems copying written language, and taking longer than normal to complete written work
If you are concerned about your child’s progress with reading and writing, begin by talking to their teacher. If you and your child’s teacher then have an ongoing concern, the NHS suggest to take your child to see your GP where they can be checked for any underlying health issues, such as hearing or vision problems, that could be affecting their ability to learn. If this comes back clear, different teaching methods may need to be tried.
Following this, you can ask to be referred for an assessment by the local authority educational psychologist. This will involve an examination of your child’s reading and writing abilities, language and vocab, memory, organisational skills and approaches to learning. After your child has been assessed, you will receive a report that outlines their strengths and weaknesses, with recommendations of what could be done to improve areas that they are having difficulties with.
Depending on the severity of your child’s learning difficulties, it may be possible for their difficulties to managed through special educational needs support (SEN), an action plan drawn up by the school’s SENCO.
To find out more about dyslexia, visit – http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/