Everyone learns differently. However, sometimes those differences can point to learning disabilities in children. Dyslexia is a disability that affects 15-20 percent of the population. As the 2021-2022 school year is gearing up to start, according to the experts, here are dyslexia signs that every parent should know.


“Dyslexic kids often have trouble reading fluently, or rapidly, accurately, and with understanding,” said Sally Shaywitz, MD, a developmental pediatrician, co-founder, and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, and author of the bestselling book Overcoming Dyslexia in an interview with Fatherly.com.

She continued to say that, “They may think they’re stupid, which can give them low self-esteem. Tell them that instead, they’re part of a special club. After all, they’re joining the roster of dyslexic people that include Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, and even Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants series. Then, get them the help they need.”

In addition to trouble with reading, letters, and sounds, here are other signs of dyslexia:

  • Poor spelling
  • Lack of interest in rhymes
  • Difficulty learning foreign languages
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Anxiety, particularly about reading aloud in class
  • Difficulty with word retrieval, or thinking of and saying the word that you mean to say
  • Mixing up similar sounding words when speaking, such as constant and consistent
  • Having a larger listening vocabulary than speaking vocabulary

Dr. Shaywitz says that parents want to “…reach children who are at risk early on, when reading intervention is maximally effective, before students fall further and further behind.”

What tools are there to help parents with diagnosis?

First, consult your physician if you suspect there are problems. Sometimes, problems stem from eye glass needs and not a learning disability.

All children should be screened for dyslexia in Kindergarten when they’re learning how to read according to Shaywitz. There are multiple free screening tools that parents and teachers can complete in 10 minutes or less. Some of those tools can be found here. Screening is not a diagnosis, but and assessment of risk.

School districts can administer evaluation in forms of IQ and reading tests. Additionally, parents can seek private evaluation from reading specialists or psychologists. 

For additional information and resources on dyslexia, visit the dyslexiafoundation.org.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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