A Parent’s Guide to the Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia

Is your child struggling to learn how to read? In this blog post, you’ll learn the signs and symptoms of dyslexia.

Does this scenario ring a bell? Your once curious and eager child, who used to walk into their classroom with enthusiasm, now seems increasingly frustrated with their schoolwork.

It’s become quite common for them to outright refuse to go to school, leaving you worried that this waning excitement for learning could prevent them from reaching their full potential.

But what if we told you that frustration at school is often the first sign of dyslexia?

In this blog post, we’ll:

  • Provide a brief overview of dyslexia
  • Share the common signs and symptoms of dyslexia
  • Review conditions that often co-occur with dyslexia
  • Provide guidance on what to do if you suspect your child has dyslexia
Image: a photo of the definition of dyslexia. Text: A Parent's Guide to The Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia. Wondering if your child has dyslexia? Keep reading to learn the common signs and symptoms.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is broadly defined as a difficulty in learning to read. It is a learning difference that most often presents as a gap between a child’s potential and performance in the areas of reading, spelling, and writing.

Dyslexia affects up to 20 percent of the population and represents 80–90 percent of all those with learning disabilities, according to The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.

Oftentimes, parents worry that a dyslexia diagnosis means their child is less intelligent than their peers. However, dyslexia occurs at all levels of intelligence—average, above average, and highly gifted.

In fact, many gifted people at the top of their fields are dyslexic and while people with dyslexia are slow readers, they often are very fast and creative thinkers. (Yale)

Some of the greatest minds in history were thought to be dyslexic, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Dyslexia is commonly identified during elementary school years, as difficulties with reading and writing appear. Nonetheless, some children may not receive a diagnosis until later in life, may be diagnosed in adulthood, or never at all.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia

Parents and even teachers often assume that since their learner is not reading and writing their letters backwards, a dyslexia diagnosis is off the table.

However, letter reversal isn’t the only sign of dyslexia.

If your child has dyslexia, they may:

  • Experience a delay in speech
  • Experience a delay in learning letters of the alphabet
  • Demonstrate a resistance to reading
  • Struggle to identify single words
  • Have poor penmanship
  • Find reading comprehension difficult
  • Struggle with spelling
  • Have difficulty understanding some words
  • Have trouble with rhyming words or phrases
  • Become frustrated with school
  • Confuse directions
  • Confuse opposites
  • Transpose letters in words
  • Have trouble with mathematical word problems

Dyslexia Comorbidities

Dyslexia often co-occurs with other learning and developmental differences.

According to The International Dyslexia Association an estimated 30% of those with dyslexia have coexisting Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It’s important to note, however, that while these two conditions often occur together, one does not cause another.

Here are other conditions that often co-occur with dyslexia:

How to Move Forward

If you suspect your child has dyslexia, it’s important to act early and fast.

Early identification and intervention are crucial for students with reading delays and dyslexia. If you think your child may have dyslexia, schedule an evaluation with a private educational psychologist or school psychologist.

Child Find

Child Find is a federal requirement encompassing the policies and protocols established within each state to guarantee the identification, location, and evaluation of all children with disabilities, including those suspected of having dyslexia, who require special education, related services, or interventions.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, local public school systems are responsible for all children within their jurisdiction suspected of having disabilities, including, but not limited to:

  • Children enrolled in public school within the district, including public charter schools
  • Children who are placed in private school within the district
  • Children who live within the jurisdiction of the local school system and are home-schooled
  • Any other children suspected of having disabilities, even when those children may be progressing from grade to grade

Learn your rights and view a comprehensive explanation of Child Find here.

Consider Roberts

Roberts Academy at Mercer University is the only school in Georgia outside of Metro Atlanta specifically designed for students with dyslexia.

Roberts is an independent, transitional school. Its aim is to equip students with the foundational skills they’ll need to succeed in a traditional school setting. When remediated, these students will return to their age-appropriate grade at a school chosen by their parents.

The Academy is scheduled to open this August. For more information and to learn about the application process, visit us at robertsacademy.org.

To Sum It Up

  • Dyslexia is broadly defined as a difficulty in learning to read. It is a learning difference that most often presents as a gap between a child’s potential and performance in the areas of reading, spelling, and writing.
  • Letter reversal isn’t the only sign of dyslexia.
  • Children with dyslexia may experience a delay in speech and/or learning letters of the alphabet. They might also demonstrate a resistance to reading, struggle to identify single words, and have poor penmanship, and find reading comprehension difficult, among other things.
  • Early identification and intervention are crucial for students with reading delays and dyslexia. If you think your child may have dyslexia, schedule an evaluation with a private or school psychologist.
  • Roberts Academy at Mercer University might be an option for your child. It is an independent, transitional school. Its aim is to equip students with the foundational skills they’ll need to succeed in a traditional school setting. Eventually, these students can return to their age-appropriate grade at a school chosen by their parents.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year. If you’re wondering if Roberts is an option for your child, reach out to us at info@robertsacademy.org.

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    Roberts Academy is now accepting applications for enrollment. Classes will begin in August 2024.