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Common Signs of Dyslexia

Common Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. This article provides a brief overview list of typical signs of dyslexia in preschool and kindergarten.

Reading problems can be tough on the whole family. If your child is struggling, the first thing to do is to find out why. Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. It's a learning disability that can affect both boys and girls, and is more common in children whose parents also had difficulty with reading and writing.

Children with dyslexia can go on to become successful readers, but it's important to get extra help early!

Common signs

If these signs remind you of your child, talk with your child's teacher to see what extra help they can offer. If difficulties persist, talk to the principal about getting a free evaluation for your child.


  • May talk later than most children
  • May have difficulty pronouncing words
  • May be slow to add new vocabulary words
  • May be unable to recall the right word
  • May have difficulty with rhyming
  • May have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to write his or her name
  • May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines
  • May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence
  • Often has difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words


  • Has difficulty reading single words
  • May be slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • May confuse small words – at/to, said/and, does/goes
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors
  • May have trouble remembering facts
  • May be slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorizing without understanding
  • May be impulsive and prone to accidents
  • May have difficulty planning
  • Often uses an awkward pencil grip
  • May have trouble learning to tell time

To learn more about dyslexia, read Dyslexia Basics.

Adapted from:ABC's of Dyslexia. (2000). International Dyslexia Association.


You are welcome to print copies for non-commercial use, or a limited number for educational purposes, as long as credit is given to Reading Rockets and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact the author or publisher listed.


My son is a struggling reader since kindergarten and now he is in sixth grade and still having problems reading. I have been to the school asking for help with this matter, the only literacy help they have is I-ready program on the computer they offer for one day a week to help. This is now helping much. Is there any advise you can give me on what I can do to help my child. A hurting heart parent. Sincerely, Ms. S

my 6 year old daughter was held back in k-5, so instead of being 6 and in the 1st grade shes in kindergarten. we inrolled her in preschool when she was 3 years old. she did 3 years there and moved her to kindergarten at a private school at age 6. she didnt seem like she was ready for 1st grade, so i thought whats one more year in preschool matter. now the school board just told me shes still not ready for 1st grade, yes she still cant recognize her alphabets, numbers, colors or shape but her favorite ones. this year she just learned how to write her name in all capital letters. (first name) she has difficulties sounding out most of the letters and words. we are doing the best we can to help her at home, she never seem like she ever wants to go to school. 10 minutes into her school work shes ready to give up. i just dont know what to do, what i can do to help her. i really dont want her retaining again at this age.

Hi, my son is 7 and in grade 2. Was born in May. He is struggling to read a lot. I am thinking that it might be the teacher that is not paying attention to his reading development because I always try to read with him when I get a chance. About 2 to 3 times a week. What can I do to ensure his reading skills improve and to maybe rule out the possibility of dyslexia.

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan