How to Know if You Have Dyslexia: 11 Symptoms

Knowing if you have dyslexia and recognizing the most common signs is important to face it and receive proper treatment, whether you are a child or an adult.

Reading and writing are complicated strategies to acquire. Most children learn to do it without difficulty with a certain degree of maturation and a good pedagogical environment.

How to Know if You Have Dyslexia

However, for some children with a normative development it can turn out to be something really complex. We are faced with children who have developmental dyslexia.

How to Know if You Have Dyslexia

If you are not sure if you or your child has it or not, then I will tell you how to know if you have dyslexia.

What is dyslexia?

The dyslexia is a problem or difficulty in learning to read. It is included within a broad classification, which refers to specific learning difficulties (DEA).

It manifests itself in difficulties of access to the lexicon and may be due to problems in phonological, auditory and / or visual processing.

It is usually accompanied by problems related to deficits in working memory, in syntactic knowledge and in processing speed.

Dyslexia occurs in people with cognitive development or intelligence within or above normalcy. In addition, they do not suffer from sensory alterations and have received instruction in adequate reading and writing in which, however, they present difficulties.

It is the most frequent cause of difficulties at the time of reading and learning and a very relevant factor in terms of dropout or failure at school, since it affects reading but also manifests itself in writing.

Dyslexia is usually associated, in some cases, with the disorder of calculus (dyscalculia) and written expression, as well as in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

It is important to keep in mind that dyslexia is not, in any case:

  • An intelligence problem
  • A sensory disability
  • A problem of lack of motivation
  • A problem of attention
  • A problem of maturation
  • The consequence of an emotional type problem

Symptomatology and diagnosis of dyslexia

Dyslexia is a difficulty in learning and in the use of academic skills, evidenced by the presence of at least one of the following symptoms that have persisted for at least 6 months, despite interventions aimed at these difficulties.

It is a specific learning disorder with difficulties in reading, which involves:

1) Reading inaccurate words or slow and effortful (for example, read the loose words incorrectly or slowly and hesitantly, often guess words, have difficulty expressing words).

2) Has difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read (for example, you can read a text with precision but does not understand the sentence, the relationships between them, the inferences or the deep meaning of what you are reading).

Dyslexia constitutes about 80% of diagnoses of learning difficulties and is usually present in 2 to 8% of children who are enrolled in school.

In addition, it is usually more frequent in children and also in subjects who have a family history of this learning problem.

It is also important to keep in mind that dyslexia can not be diagnosed before a certain age, when it becomes visible because the child has a delay in acquiring written language skills in front of his or her age mates.

Early diagnosis of dyslexia is important, because after 12 years of age, if it is not diagnosed, it will already present many problems.

Given the least suspicion, it is best to start the diagnostic process even if you do not have security.

It is impossible to distinguish, in the early stages of a child’s schooling, between dyslexia and some other learning difficulties. There are times when there are overlaps and the differential diagnosis could not be made.

In order to make an appropriate diagnosis, the cognitive processes that are involved in reading and writing must be evaluated, since this is the only correct way to access the diagnosis.

We must evaluate reading and writing. As far as reading is concerned, it is appropriate to evaluate its reading speed, how it processes sentences syntactically, how it accesses semantic contents, how it integrates knowledge, its operational memory.

We must also evaluate how he reads frequent and infrequent words.

As far as writing is concerned, we must evaluate the ability to copy words appropriately, misspellings, the letter (if it is adjusted to an appropriate size), the organization of the text, the expression of knowledge through writing .

11 characteristics to know if you can have dyslexia

1. You have problems with reading speed and accuracy

People with dyslexia often have problems with reading accuracy and speed. Thus, they usually focus all their attention on reading to read mechanically and decode the letters and words.

This causes that the cognitive resources derive to that task and therefore the speed and precision are altered.

2. You have difficulties in verbal and phonological coding

There are different works that have tried to prove the existence of perceptive problems in children who have dyslexia.

It has been concluded that people with dyslexia have perceptual problems when the stimuli presented to them are verbally labeled.

This means that there are no problems when the perception is visual, but there are difficulties when verbal labeling intervenes.

For example, in some investigations it has been found that children with reading problems, when they had to draw figures that previously had to be remembered, showed difficulties when the stimulus was verbally labeled.

3. You have no difficulties in other areas or intelligence problems

The verbal problem that people with dyslexia have is not conceptual, since they have good intelligence. The problem arises when they must abstract and generalize verbal information in verbal tasks.

However, as we have already mentioned, there are some people associated with Dyslexia who may present other problems such as dyscalculia or ADHD.

Many children with dyslexia are sometimes isolated and present interpersonal problems and many of them end up considering them children with intellectual problems.

On other occasions, from the family or the school they consider it a problem of motivation or lack of effort on the part of the child.

4. You have poor reading comprehension

When reading, people with dyslexia remember the word chains to the letter and therefore, as a result, are ineffective when remembering the exact terms and when they should read directly thanks to the meaning.


They are able to read but do not learn from what they read. They find it difficult to make inferences from the text and draw conclusions from it.

5. You have a low syntactic domain

This is another linguistic problem. The differences between people with dyslexia and without it have shown that the former have a smaller vocabulary, less verbal fluency for verbal descriptions and a syntactic use, in sentence formation, less complex compared to people without dyslexia.

6. Your writing may be affected

People with dyslexia can present many spelling errors, thus affecting writing. In dictations or copies, for example, people with dyslexia omit, substitute, add letters or words.

The writing can become illegible and they can present difficulties when reading what they have written. They have difficulties to memorize and automate everything related to orthographic rules. Sometimes, they write with a lot of pressure or with little (and it can not be read).

7. You can present or have presented disinterest in school and low grades

Although they are not symptoms of dyslexia, they are consequences, collateral effects of dyslexia.

Many children, in their school years, end up showing disinterest in studying and low grades because they have a hard time doing all the academic tasks given the difficulties they have in reading.

8. You can have emotional problems

Many children with dyslexia end up presenting, as a consequence, certain characteristics such as low self-esteem, feelings of security, etc. And all this is due to the problems that present and the conception that the environment can have about them.

9. Do you present difficulties when reading a text: rhythm, investment, location?

People with dyslexia, in reading, often confuse letters, exchange syllables, repeat, delete or add letters or words.

Sometimes, when they are reading, they invent words, they skip lines, they can present problems in intonation or rhythm.

Do not understand, as we said, what they read and can even perceive that the words or lines ?? move ??.

10. You have specific characteristics when it comes to vision

Although medical examinations do not ratify it, many people with dyslexia have vision problems. They tend to lack perception and have peripheral vision.

11. You have motor problems

It is quite common that they have psychomotor problems and that they have awkwardness. They usually present coordination problems (movements, kicking a ball, tying the laces or buttoning a button).

Also Read: 6 Reasons to Change from School to a Child

They have problems understanding the concepts of space and time. And they tend to present problems in sports that require coordination or teamwork.

Signs of alarm in dyslexia

We also find different warning signs that can help us detect that we may be facing a child with dyslexia.

1. In children under 6 years

In children under six years of age, we can find some signs that can help us investigate if we are dealing with a case of dyslexia:

  • There is a delay of the language and / or difficulties in the expression
  • The child performs reading in mirror
  • It presents difficulties when identifying the letters
  • Confuse words that sound similarly
  • It presents difficulties when identifying sounds that are associated with letters
  • Family history of dyslexic problems
  • Absence of phonological awareness
  • Alternate good and bad days at school
  • Difficulty learning typical children’s education songs
  • Does not it hit the jump ?? in what refers to reading speed to overcome the syllabic reading

2. In children between 7-11 years

  • Reading that has errors or correct but is not automated
  • Has difficulty reading strange words or non-words
  • His reading is slow and his understanding is poor
  • Change the order or invert letters and numbers in both reading and writing
  • Presents problems to decode words in isolation and not in context
  • Write in mirror
  • Confuse the right with the left
  • It has a bad handwriting and the text is messy
  • He has difficulties in spelling not typical of his level
  • It is better expressed orally than written
  • You may have trouble pronouncing some words
  • Sometimes they look for synonyms to words and get confused in the meaning
  • Problems with the alphabet
  • Problems in rhymes
  • False starts, hesitations or lose the site of the text they were reading
  • Inability to remember what they have read
  • When asked about texts read, they tend to respond more with general knowledge that they have more than what they have just read
  • Problems with multiplication tables
  • Lack of self confidence

3. After 12 years

  • Problems of concentration when reading or writing
  • Problems in working memory (sometimes you do not remember what you have read)
  • Concept comprehension problems
  • Difficulties when organizing your thoughts and space
  • Planning problems and school strategies
  • Anxiety mood problems or blockages
  • Social skills problems
  • Aversion to writing and reading
  • Slowness

In children, when they are in preschool, there are certain elements that are usually common in children who end up developing dyslexia but who are not signs of dyslexia and that may affect other areas.

Some of them can be:

  • Problems in the development of speech and vocabulary (goes slower, has difficulty in pronouncing words or articulate correctly?)
  • It has crossed laterality or lateral dominance
  • Has problems controlling and handling the pencil / scissors
  • Problems in social skills
  • It has altered the notions of space and time (does not learn the days of the week, or yesterday, today and tomorrow ????)
  • Confuses the location of body areas
  • Has presented a delay when acquiring certain concepts such as numbers, colors, shapes?
  • It is clumsy when it comes to psychomotricity , balance and fine motor skills
  • He has problems with instructions, orders, routines and attention problems .

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