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A specific learning disability pattern where a student has difficulties with reading words accurately and automatically, decoding/phonics skills with reading, and problems spelling.  These learning difficulties are often due to problems with audiitory and phonological (sound awareness) skills.  Often these reading and spelling problems are unexpected given the student's intelligence and history of academic instruction.  Due to these problems, the student often develops more difficulties with slow reading speed, decreased reading comprehension, and reduced vocabulary growth.

#Dyslexia411 - What Does Dyslexia Look Like? Children share some quick facts about dyslexia and what they wish teachers and others knew about this common learning disability that makes learning to read, write and spell a challenge.

Preschool & Kindergarten
  • Early delays with learning to speak
  • Articulation delays
  • Mixing up sounds in words (such as saying "aminal" for animal)
  • History of ear infections
  • Confuse left and right
  • Late to establish hand domionance
  • Difficulties remembering sequences (counting, saying the alphabet, saying days of the week and months of the year in order)
  • Hard time with sound activites (such as hearing and making rhymes, learning the names and sounds of letters, breaking words into sounds)
  • Inconsistent memory for basic sight words (know one day, gone the next; can read a word on one page and can't read the same word later)

Elementary School

  • Still inconsistent with basic sight words
  • Can't seem to sound out new words
  • When reading out loud, sound slow, labored, and choppy; often overlook punctuation and no inflection
  • Misread similar looking words (form-from, could-cold, who-how, saw-was)
  • Get visibly tired and rub eyes when reading
  • Lot of confuction of b-d when reading and writing
  • Substitue similar meaning words when reading
  • Misreads, omits, and adds small function words (a, an, from, the, to, were, are, of) and omits or adds suffixes (s, ing, ed)
  • Spelling often a problem
  • Can memorize words for a spelling test but cannot remember them later or spell them correctly when writing
  • Continue to misspell high frequency words (they, what, where, does, because) even after much practice and exposure
  • Can have poor handwriting quality, slow writing speed, and problems copying from the board or a book
  • Often avoid reading and writing activities
  • Often stronger in math but can have problems remembering math facts such as multiplication tables and sequences in a problem
  • Math can be negatively affected by reading problems when student is expected to read the math word problem
  • Can have difficulties learning to tell time on a clock with hands

Middle School, High School, College, & Adulthood

  • Often mispronounce long and complicated words by leaving out parts or confusing parts of words (saying "amulium" for aluminum)
  • Hard time expressing themselves (pause and stumble when speaking, use vague language such as "stuff" or "things," hard time finding the right word such as saying "tornado" for volcano or "lotion" for ocean," hard time coming up with verbal answers quickly, and difficulties remembering rote information such as dates, names, numbers, and lists)
  • History of slow progress in reading
  • Slow reading speed
  • Hard time figuring out how to read and pronounce new and unfamiliar words and seem to guess
  • Avoid reading and don't like to read out loud
  • Comprehend much better if material is read to them
  • Hard time finishing work and tests in a time limit
  • Many spelling errors when writing
  • Homework takes a very long time
  • Often have messy handwriting
  • Do not read for enjoyment
  • Hard time learning and speaking a foreign language
  • Trouble with math word problems
  • Extreme fatigue from reading