Dyslexia: across ages


Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading and spelling but does not affect general intelligence. Dyslexia often co-occurs with other disorders like apraxia, ASD, ADHD, and speech-language disorders. The learning disability caused by dyslexia ranges from mild to severe.

Is it dyslexia, or is my child a slow learner?

The main difference between dyslexics, and slow learners, is that the IQ  of dyslexics is not affected. Meanwhile, slow learners tend to have a lower IQ. Children with dyslexia have structural differences in their brain that affect how they interpret written language. Dyslexics struggle with recognizing words, spelling, and decoding.

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia

Please note that your child might show some of these signs without being dyslexic. Signs of dyslexia include:

In pre-school

  • Delayed development of speech.
  • Difficulty pronouncing long words such as “helicopter”.
  • Difficulty expressing their thoughts and ideas.
  • Difficulty understanding the concept of rhyming words.
  • No interest in learning the alphabet.

In primary school

  • Can answer questions in spoken words, but finds it difficult to write down the answer.
  • Confuses letters that look alike.
  • Inconsistent spelling, and shuffles the order of letters in a word.
  • Difficulty learning how each letter sounds.
  • Slow reading and writing.
  • Difficulty copying written words.
  • Poor phonological awareness. In other words, dyslexic children are unable to grasp how words are made of smaller units. For example, a dyslexic child would be unable to understand how changing the “c” in “cat” to a “p” would change the word to “pat.
  • Poor word attack skills. This is the ability to understand what a word means by looking for smaller words in it. For example, dyslexics would be unable to understand the word “sunbath” by breaking it down to “sun” and “bath”.

In teenagers and adults

  • Problems with writing essays.
  • Difficulty remembering things such as codes and phone numbers
  • Inability to express knowledge in written form.
  • Finds revising for an exam difficult, as it is hard to skim and scan.

Who can help my dyslexic child?

If you think your child is dyslexic, make sure to first get your child checked up by a physician to rule out any visual or hearing impairments. Your child can benefit from learning specialists, teachers, speech-language therapists, and psychologistsD

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