Parental Warning's - 5 Steps For Identifying Dyslexia in Your Child

Step 1: Talk To Your Child

Talk to your child. Some children with dyslexia have trouble deciphering meaning from words that are heard. Is your child confused by things you ask or tell? Is your child confused with commands involving direction like up and down or over and under? Do you have to repeat yourself or reword your commands or dialogue with your child? Does your child seem not to hear you? Does your child have consistent difficulty explaining things to you?

Step 2: Read With Your Child

Read with your child. If your child is just beginning to identify words in isolation or is able to read full sentences and paragraphs, pay attention to the way your child reads. Don’t always draw attention to mistakes, but pay attention to the mistakes your child makes to see if a pattern is developing. Children who have dyslexia and other reading disabilities make specific types of errors when reading and writing.

Step 3: Can Your Child Sound Out Words?

Listen to the way your child sounds out words. Does your child struggle with reading even a simple sentence or word? Is your child’s reading very choppy even when reading books that you have read together several times? Does your child reverse letters or numbers; deb for bed, left for felt, sing for sign, or 12 for 21? Is your child unaware of rhyming words or syllables of words? Does your child omit suffixes? Some children with dyslexia will replace a word with a similar word – house for horse, for example – even if it alters the meaning.

Step 4: Did Your Child Understand What They Just Read?

Ask questions while reading. When your child finishes reading or when you finish reading ask your child questions about what just happened, characters present, and their feelings and predictions of what will happen. Children with dyslexia will usually be able to answer questions from stories read to them but will have difficulty answering questions after they read to themselves. The child with dyslexia will spend a lot of energy “reading” the words without understanding the meaning or sequence of the words.

Step 5: Observe Your Child’s Writing

Write with your child. Does your child have difficulty spelling common or familiar words even when copying words from a book? Does your child have difficulty expressing thoughts and ideas in written form? Children with dyslexia will often make the same mistakes in written form as they do when reading. Look for number, letter or word reversals; omissions or additions when writing; as well as consistent difficulty with common sight words like and, of, ball, they and from.


Dyslexia Center of Utah


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