General Information

What are the characteristics of dyslexia?

Generally, individuals with dyslexia have trouble reading and spelling words. However, they often have excellent comprehension of spoken language.

Individuals with dyslexia often exhibit difficulties in the following areas:

Difficulty with Reading and Written Expression (all people with dyslexia have trouble with reading and writing)

  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Difficulty sounding out words
  • Confusion of common little words such as "for" and "from" in reading and writing
  • Addition, omission, transposition, or reversal of letters in words in reading and writing
  • Poor reading comprehension because of difficulty pronouncing the words
  • Slow, word by word reading
  • Spelling words the way they sound, for example "yooneek" for "unique"
  • Production is slow and laborious; the amount produced is usually very limited

Difficulty with Oral Language (Some students with dyslexia exhibit oral language problems)

  • Difficulty memorizing information such as the alphabet or the multiplication tables
  • Difficulty pronouncing words
  • Difficulty remembering directions with several steps

How can dyslexia be treated?

Students with dyslexia need a special kind of reading program that includes training in phonological awareness and provides systematic, structured instruction in phonics. Typical phonics programs will not generally be effective for students with dyslexia.

Characteristics of Individuals with Dyslexia

Preschool/Kindergarten

  • Delay in talking; articulation problems
  • Difficulty recognizing and producing rhymes
  • Difficulty remembering rote information, such as letter names (also phone number and address)
  • Difficulty remembering and following directions

Grades 1-3

  • Difficulty learning sound/symbol correspondences
  • Confusion of visually similar letters (b/d/p, w/m, h/n, f/t)
  • Confusion of auditorily similar letters (d/t, b/p, f/v)
  • Difficulty remembering basic sight vocabulary
  • Problems segmenting words into individual sounds and blending sounds to form words
  • Reading and spelling errors that involve difficulties with sequencing and monitoring sound/symbol correspondence such as reversals of letters (past/pats), omissions (tip/trip), additions (slip/sip), substitutions (rip/rib) and transpositions (stop/pots)
  • Omission of grammatical endings in reading and/or writing (-s, -ed, -ing, etc.)
  • Difficulty remembering spelling words over time and applying spelling rules