A dyslexia symptom is very often hard to pin down especially in young children as the signs may get confused with other normal characteristics of children of that particular age group. For example, if a child is slow in picking up numbers or retaining alphabets, it is normal to put it down as age-related and something which will improve as the child grows older. And, in most cases, it may actually be the situation.
But, what if the signs persist? It is here that the catch lies; for the parents cannot afford to ignore those signs any more if they want the child to do well and it is important that an early diagnosis be made. It is not necessary that the child is suffering form a learning disability; his problems can be traced to speech/hearing deficiency also. Hence, it is important to rule out such tangible problems before assuming that the child has dyslexia.
Common signs of dyslexia
A common dyslexia symptom is the inability to learn and retain alphabets and numbers. The child also struggles with identification of rhyming words or /and counting syllables and the vocabulary is very poor. As the child grows older he is still unable to differentiate between the various sounds in words and cannot make the connection between the words and sounds. This leads to poor reading and spelling skills as word combinations get confusing, association of the correct meanings with the individual words is highly suspect and he has naming as well as word retrieval problems. Basic words like up/down get confusing for such children.
Another common dyslexia symptom is the tendency to make letter reversals (b/d), inversions/transpositions (left/felt) and substitutions (home/house). Sequence of words or letters get reversed (was/saw) and grammar is very difficult for such a child. Homophones like ‘their’ and ‘there’ are also problematic words for him. Poor spelling skills also include spelling the words in their highly phonetic forms like ‘shud’ for ‘should’ etc.
Since the child has phonological problems, he shies away from reading out aloud in class and as he grows older he may face difficulties in grasping concepts. Slow work and poor memory is also typical of dyslexia symptom. Organizational ability is poor and understanding the concept of time is difficult.
Another common dyslexia symptom is the poor development of motor skills. Slower than normal writing ability can be a probable dyslexia symptom as the motor coordination is poor leading to clumsiness and bad handwriting. On a social level, the dyslexia symptom can manifest itself in withdrawal from peers and low self-esteem. Or it can go to the other extreme of bullying because of the innate inability to understand the social cues of the environment. Whatever the consequence, the dyslexia symptom must be identified and subsequent treatment done as soon as possible for the benefit of the child. Treatment can only proceed once the testing and diagnosis has been made and an observant eye and a keen mind should be able to make out the dyslexia symptom.