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Understanding Symptoms Across Ages

Identifying the symptoms of dyslexia in children, adolescents, and adults is crucial for early intervention and support. While it may be challenging to spot these signs before a child begins school, being aware of the indicators can help parents and educators provide the necessary assistance.

It's essential to approach the discussion of dyslexia with the understanding that each dyslexic individual is unique, and symptoms can vary widely. Not every person with dyslexia will exhibit all the mentioned symptoms, and the manifestation of these signs can differ across individuals. Moreover, it's crucial to recognize that brain development plays a significant role in language acquisition and literacy skills.

Research from the Netherlands sheds light on the variability in brain development, particularly in the language centers responsible learning of reading and writing. The study reveals that some children may not activate this part of the brain for learning to read and write until as late as eight years old. This delay in brain activation, often misconstrued as dyslexia, is a natural variation in development.

The Dutch study emphasizes the importance of understanding that different activation of the language centers does not necessarily indicate dyslexia. In fact, children who showed this delay in brain activity did not exhibit dyslexia when retested at the age of 18. This highlights the significance of looking beyond traditional reading and writing assessments and considering the broader context.


Late Talking: Children may exhibit delayed speech development.

Slow Word Learning: Difficulty in acquiring new words at a normal pace.

Word Formation Issues: Reversing sounds in words or confusing similar-sounding words.

Difficulty with Letters, Numerals, and Colors: Struggling to recall or name these elements.

Challenges with Nursery Rhymes: Difficulty learning rhymes or playing rhyming games.

Speech Issues: Pronunciation difficulties and "jumbling" phrases.

Expressive Language Difficulty: Struggling to articulate thoughts and ideas.


Reading Below Expected Level: Difficulty processing and interpreting information, reading below the expected level for their age.

Word Retrieval Issues: Finding the right word or responding to questions becomes challenging.

Problems with Sequencing: Difficulty recalling events in the correct order.

Confusion with Letters and Words: Struggling to recognize and differentiate between similar letters and words.

Pronunciation Challenges: Inability to pronounce unfamiliar words.

Spelling Difficulties: Persistent challenges with spelling.

Slow Reading and Writing: Taking an extended time to complete reading or writing tasks.

Avoidance of Reading-Related Activities: Unwillingness to engage in activities involving reading.


Reading Difficulty: Struggles with reading, both silently and aloud.

Slow Reading and Writing: Reading and writing at a slow pace with increased effort.

Spelling Issues: Continuing challenges with spelling.

Avoidance of Reading: Unwillingness to participate in reading-related activities.

Mispronunciation and Word Recall: Difficulty pronouncing names or words, as well as trouble recalling specific words.

Difficulty with Figurative Language: Challenges understanding idioms and jokes.

Slow Completion of Assignments: Taking an extended time to finish reading or writing tasks.

Story Summarization Difficulty: Struggling to summarize information or stories.

Challenges Learning New Languages: Difficulty acquiring proficiency in a new language.

Memory Struggles: Problems with memorization and recalling information.

Arithmetic Problem-Solving Difficulties: Challenges in solving mathematical problems.


Recognizing the symptoms of dyslexia is essential for early intervention and support. Whether in young children, school-age individuals, or adults, understanding these signs can lead to effective strategies and accommodations to help individuals with dyslexia thrive academically and personally.