Warning Signs of Dyslexia
Sometimes, parents can become too preoccupied with ensuring that their children
excel even in their preschool years that they do not see warning signs for certain learning
disabilities. This is especially true in cultures who value education very highly and put an
almost undue pressure on children as young as preschool-age to excel and beat the rest of
their class in terms of grades and academic performance. For example, the parents may get so
angry with the child for returning poor grades that they fail to see the underlying problem of a
While not all kids who perform poorly in school have learning disabilities, it is
important for parents to be aware of some of them, as well as possible warning signs to watch
out for. Dyslexia is one of these learning disabilities that are not easy to spot, probably
because it deals more with a child’s reading skills and may be overlooked since the child
appears normal in all other respects.
Dyslexia is an inherent learning disability in which a child has trouble comprehending
letters, sequences, and direction. For example, a child may have confusion for the letter B and
D, particularly in the small-case form. Directional problems also manifest in that the child has
trouble differentiating q from d, p from b, and many other letter-mix-ups, resulting in a very
troublesome time reading and understanding written text. As the child grows with the
condition undetected, his constant failure at reading may cause him to quit reading altogether;
as such, it is no surprise that children with dyslexia either grow up into loners or the class
clowns, as they find ways to cope with their failures.
If your grade-school child has been struggling with school and you can find no other
reason why he does not enjoy it, such as ruling out bullying or physical exhaustion from an
overloaded schedule, perhaps it is time you considered the possibility of a learning disability:
1. Dyslexia, as characterized by reading confusion, usually comes with poor test results as a
warning sign. However, it is not just the test score that can give you a clue: instead, check the
mistakes that your child is making in his tests. If there is spelling involved, you can spot signs
of dyslexia in the interchanging of certain letters, such as b and d, p and q, or in the sequence
of sounds. For example, a dyslexic child might spell animal as aminal.
2. Your suspicions may have stronger ground if you compare test results for spelling-related
tests versus those with numbers. While some dyslexic children also suffer from dyscalcula, or
a disability to understand numbers, the majority do fine with numbers.
3. A dyslexic child also typically has trouble memorizing sequences. Does your child have
trouble remembering to turn off the faucet after he washes his hands? Does he usually forget
to hang his coat on the hook and just leave it lying about? Although this may happen simply
out of carelessness and childishness, when it happens to a child whose other siblings have had
no trouble with the routine at the same age, it may be a warning signal. If the child is old
enough to learn tying his shoes and he has trouble doing so, it may also signal a problem with
4. Dyslexia manifests not just in reading, but also in sequences. This means that even speech
errors can clue you in on the condition, especially as the child is saying words that come with
more than two syllables. For example, a dyslexic child may call spaghetti “bisgetti,” or
magazine becomes “mazageen.”
If these warning signs show up in your child and you are seriously concerned, perhaps it is
time to have a diagnostic test taken at a specialised facility for learning disabilities.
Remember, early intervention is always recommended for children with dyslexia, and with
this early action, any dyslexic child can be trained to read at a young age, allowing him or her
to operate well even in mainstream schools. The earlier you take action, the better chances
your child will have for enjoying a normal life without being stunted by his disability.