THE COMMON TRAITS OF DYSLEXIA | Dyslexia UK

THE COMMON TRAITS OF DYSLEXIA

November 4, 2021 dyxk Comments Off

Dyslexia can only be diagnosed by a qualified dyslexia assessor who completes a dyslexia test with an individual. However, there are indicators and common traits which can help to identify if a person may be dyslexic. 

Commonly people with dyslexia have strong abilities in some areas of spelling, reading, writing or numeracy, yet weaknesses in others. It is often the disparity between these abilities that indicates whether someone has dyslexia. Everyone’s experience of dyslexia will vary, but there are common indicators that may suggest whether an assessment is required.

1) Written work

  • Vocabulary – Limited vocabulary compared to spoken vocabulary
  • Spelling – Poor or erratic spelling, maybe spelling the same word spelt several different ways. Misspelt words maybe phonically correct
  • Grammar – Poor punctuation, grammar or confusion between upper and lower case letters
  • Fine motor skills – difficulties with speed and legibility of handwriting 
  • Presentation – Messy handwriting or poorly spaced work
  • Letters – Poorly formed letters, or confusion between similar eg ‘b’ instead of ‘d’
  • Speed – Slow handwriting and takes longer to complete tasks
  • Note taking – Difficulty in taking notes in class, or in organising thoughts on paper

2) Reading

  • Speed – Slow, hesitant reading, 
  • Accuracy – misses or adds words, has difficulty putting together syllables into whole words, unusual word pronunciation, confuses visually similar words
  • Comprehension – poor comprehension or loses the main points in a story, difficulty in recalling or explaining the main points in what is being read, need to re-read paragraphs to understand them
  • Tracking – Needs to use a finger or similar to maintain place on the page when reading 

3) Numeracy 

  • Number placement – confusion with place eg mixing up tens, hundreds, thousands
  • Numerical symbols – incorrect application of maths symbols  eg mixing up ‘+’ and ‘x’ 
  • Sequencing – difficulties remembering sequences eg times tables; months of the year; the alphabet
  • Memory – difficulties in remembering times tables, phone numbers, memorising maths formulae

4) Time keeping

  • Poor timekeeping and personal organisation, frequently in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Difficulty in telling the time, particularly analogue or 24hr clock

5) Personal skills and behaviours

  • Directions – mixing up left and right, up and down, east and west etc; has difficulty in following multi-step instructions
  • Work avoidance – avoids certain types of work or study. Uses work avoidance tactics, easily distracted or tries to distract others
  • Organisation – have difficulty with personal organisation, time management and prioritising tasks
  • Focus – Difficulties in listening and maintaining focus. Difficulties in concentrating if there are distractions
  • Fatigue – feel sensations of mental overload/switching off. Excessively tired due concentration and effort levels or appears not to listen / withdrawn
  • Short term memory – easily confused when given several instructions at once. Often forgets conversations or important dates

Next steps

  • If you feel that the above reflects you, then you can get an indication if you may be dyslexic from the BDA’s adult dyslexia checklist
  • If you suspect that your child may be dyslexic then you should contact your child’s teacher or the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) to discuss a plan of action. It is important that appropriate support is put in place as soon as a need is identified, rather than waiting for a formal identification.
  • However a formal Diagnostic Assessment is the only way to confirm whether or not the difficulties you / your child encounters are due to dyslexia. A formal diagnosis will also help you to get the appropriate support at college, university or the workplace. Find out more at: https://kentdyslexia.co.uk/assessment-process or contact us for any queries or to book an remote dyslexia assessment