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Dyslexia Symptoms, Definition and Diagnosis

Signs of Dyslexia in Reading and Writing

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Updated May 20, 2014

Hispanic boy doing homework
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Dyslexia is believed to be caused by a neurological language processing disorder. Dyslexia symptoms usually include difficulty with written and spoken information. Symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. In public schools dyslexia may be severe enough to qualify as a learning disability. However, not all school districts use the term dyslexia. Severe dyslexia may be called learning disabilities in reading or writing in your child's school.

Severe dyslexia symptoms may qualify for special education services. Specially designed instruction may be needed to address these needs.

Further, students with dyslexia may have other receptive or expressive language or auditory processing difficulties.

Symptoms of dyslexia may include expressive language problems or disabilities. When reading aloud, for example, people with dyslexia may reverse words or parts of words. A dyslexic child may read the word bad as if it were dab. Word order and sounds may also be confused, by dyslexics, and words are often omitted or slurred over. The dog chased the cat down the street could become the gob chaled on the treats. Dyslexics may also reverse letters and words in written language. Mirror writing, a complete reversal of words, is sometimes present.

Dyslexia symptoms may also include difficulty with receptive language. Dyslexic people may not correctly perceive sounds or words. Whether reading aloud or silently or listening to spoken language, dyslexic students often cannot recall important details of what has been said or read. People with dyslexia may be unable to process material that is read to them and have difficulty explaining main ideas of material.

In speaking and listening, students with Dyslexia have difficulty pronouncing words, especially those with more than one syllable. Frequently they cannot repeat phrases that are spoken to them. They have difficulty gleaning the meaning from spoken phrases. Difficulty following instructions is also a symptom of dyslexia. Homonyms, synonyms, rhymes, and idioms are difficult for dyslexics. Dyslexics may also have problems with metaphors, similes, and other symbolic speech.

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