Ten Warning Signs of Dyslexia


  1. Poor phonological awareness (knowledge of sounds)
  • Difficulty with rhyming
  • Confusing vowel sounds, eg “I” and “e”
  • Difficulty blending sounds
  • Difficulty “sounding out” when reading or spelling
  • A child with dyslexia may need extra help to pass the phonics test


  1. Reading difficulties
  • May decode and blend sounds slowly and lack fluency
  • May read slowly and without expression
  • Words and their meanings don’t stick very well
  • May read a word, then further down the page not recognise the same word
  • Forgetting what has just been read
  • So much effort is spent decoding the text that they cannot focus on the meaning
  • Missing out words, skipping lines or adding in extra words


  1. Weak spelling
  • Persistent difficulties with high frequency words, eg “when”
  • Spelling words as they sound eg “wont” instead of “want”
  • Mixing up the sequence of letters, eg “help” instead of “help”
  • Difficulty with homophones, eg “there”, “their” and “they’re”
  • Confusing letter patterns, eg “-ck”/”-ke”, as in “lick”/”like”
  • Lacks knowledge of syllables


  1. Written work does not reflect their ability
  • A child may have persistent difficulties with confusing the letters b/d and p/q or write a letter or number backwards
  • They may reverse the order of digits in a number, eg 571 is 517
  • May have lots of ideas and be able to tell a good story, but not write it down
  • May answer questions verbally but be unable to write their ideas down
  • May have difficulties getting started on written work
  • Writing takes much longer than it should
  • May use long rambling sentences with no punctuation
  • Use of capital letters may be erratic and grammar may be poor


  1. Unable to remember the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year and times tables sequences
  • A child may have persistent difficulties with learning basic sequences
  • They may “get lost” when reciting their times tables
  • A number fact may be learnt one day and forgotten the next
  • A child may have difficulty remembering their birthday, an adult their pin number


  1. Difficulty with remembering and following instructions
  • A dyslexic child struggles to retain more than one instruction
  • Parents realise they need to say one thing at a time
  • Teachers need to prompt the pupil regularly or ask them to repeat back instructions


  1. Memory and learning
  • May learn something one day but forget it the next
  • Revision for exams is very difficult and can require a range of strategies


  1. Planning, organisation and time management
  • Finds it very difficult to plan and prepare
  • Organising coursework can be challenging
  • May have poor awareness of the passing of time
  • May appear very disorganised


  1. Underperformance in tests and examinations
  • May run completely out of time
  • Exam performance does not reflect ability
  • May completely misunderstand some of the questions


  1. Mixing up left and right
  • Many children and adults with dyslexia cannot automatically remember left and right
  • Following directions can be difficult


If you have any worries that your child may be Dyslexic or have Dyslexic tendencies, please feel free to speak to us and we’ll be able to give you help, advice and support. You can also find out more about our Dyslexia program Cellfield here.