The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity has a lot of information about dyslexia. Here are some of the signs of the disorder in people of different ages:


Preschool years

● Trouble learning common nursery rhymes, such as “Jack and Jill”

● Difficulty learning (and remembering) names of letters in alphabet

● Mispronounces familiar words; persistent “baby talk”

● Doesn’t recognize rhyming patterns

● Family history of reading and/or spelling difficulties


Kindergarten and first grade

●Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of letters on page; will say “puppy” instead of the written word “dog” on a page with a picture of a dog

●Does not understand that words come apart

●Complains about how hard reading is

●Cannot sound out even simple words such as cat, map and nap

●Does not associate letters with sounds, such as the letter b with the “b” sound


Second grade and up

● Very slow in acquiring reading skills; reading is slow, awkward

● Trouble reading unfamiliar words, often making wild guesses

● Avoids reading out loud

● Pauses, hesitates and/or uses “um” a lot when speaking

● Confuses words that sound alike, such as “tornado” for “volcano”

● Mispronunciation of unfamiliar, complicated words

● Seems to need extra time to respond to questions

● Trouble with remembering dates, names, telephone numbers and random lists

● Trouble finishing tests on time

● Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language

● Messy handwriting

— Valerie Strauss