Common Traits | of dyslexia
Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at the appropriate level for his/her age.
Described as lazy, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or "having a behaviour problem."
Isn't "behind enough" or "bad enough" to be helped in the school setting.
High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, thus verbally articulate, but displays difficulties with written work.
Has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional.
Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
Prone to daydreaming or appears to ‘be in her/ her own world’ often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
Difficulty sustaining attention; seems "hyper" or "daydreamer."
Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.
Vision, Reading, and Spelling
Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.
Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don't reveal a problem.
Extremely keen sighted and observant, or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
Reads and rereads with little comprehension.
Spells phonetically and inconsistently.
Hearing and Speech
Has extended hearing; hears things not said or apparent to others; easily distracted by sounds.
Difficulty putting thoughts into words; speaks in halting phrases; leaves sentences incomplete; stutters under stress; mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.
Writing and Motor Skills
Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion-sickness.
Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.
Behaviour, Health, Development and Personality
Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes).
Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bedwetting beyond appropriate age.
Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.
Memory and Cognition
Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced - possibly
Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).
Math and Time Management
Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time.
Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can't do it on paper.
Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money.
Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.
What can you do?
Children under 16
If you think your child may be dyslexic, speak to their teacher first. Once you have expressed your concerns with them, ask the school to have them tested.
In some cases there can be a long waiting list and so parents are often asking for a private psychologist to undertake the assessment. This is unfortunately at your own expense.
For adults although an employer is to comply with the law regarding disabilities, they are under no obligation to pay for an assessment.
They do have to provide you with a work based assessment and this includes making reasonable adjustments if you have dyslexia.
They will require a report from a trained psychologist or person accredited to test for dyslexia.
Any psychologist offering to conduct a dyslexia screening test (full diagnostic) needs to be either;
- A registered Educational Psychologist specialising in specific learning difficulties
- A practitioner registered with the British Dyslexia Association or with Dyslexia Action
- A Chartered Psychologist and registered with the British Psychological Society Testing Centre*
I am qualified to test for dyslexia using The dyslexia Screening Test (DST), which is a full diagnostic assessment and provides a profile of strengths and weaknesses which can be used to guide the development of classroom support for a child or support a workplace needs assessment for an adult.
* Unless the psychologist in (3) above has a SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate then they wont be able to provide a dylexia report for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) but they will still be able to provide a report for a statement of needs.