Dyslexia Signs: Pt. #2

Last week we shed some light on the signs of dyslexia in students from preschool through 2nd grade. This week, we wanted to focus on third grade through high school students. It is important to note that we see the most avoidance regarding reading and schoolwork in this age group; this is why early intervention is so important! The Matthew Effect illustrates this concept well. The Matthew effect explains when students do NOT struggle with reading, they want to read more frequently, and they are exposed to more vocabulary. However, when students DO struggle with reading, they avoid it and fall further and further behind in school. In case you need more evidence that reading is crucial to a student’s education, studies show that students who read well are more likely to perform better on standardized testing (think SAT and ACT among others). Furthermore, research shows that 1 in 5 students struggle with dyslexia, and those with dyslexia often have a family history of learning differences (whether they were diagnosed or undiagnosed). All this to say, it is important to recognize when your student is struggling; the earlier you are able to get your student the support they need, the better off they will be!

Elementary Aged (3rd Grade-5th Grade)

Students with dyslexia in elementary school often confuse small words (like: to, for, from, and of) because these words’ meanings are hard to picture. These same students might also omit suffixes such as -s, -ing, or -ed. Their reading style can be characterized as choppy and slow in addition to having trouble sounding out words.

When it comes to reading comprehension, students with dyslexia will often have a hard time explaining a story in detail. This is mostly because these students are trying so hard to decode words that they do not have a lot of energy or concentration left to remember what they have read. Most of these students will avoid reading because it is accompanied by so much frustration. Other noticeable signs include inconsistent spelling and word pronunciation. Often these students will pronounce a word correctly once and then pronounce it incorrectly on the next page.

Middle/High School Aged

For middle and high school students, detecting undiagnosed dyslexia becomes trickier. Again, these students will have a choppy and slow reading style when reading out loud. These students will also omit words or substitute words when reading out loud as well. Dyslexic students often take a long time to complete reading and writing assignments. Often, their writing skills are far below their ability to express the same concepts verbally, and their spelling will be frequently inconsistent. Dyslexic students in middle and high school often forget to include punctuation marks in their writing.

Why is This Important?

Reading is in every subject area, so it is important to make sure students get the help they need in a timely manner. If you have dyslexia in your family, your student is more likely to have it as well. Dyslexia is often accompanied by comorbidities such as ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more. Dyslexia is a language-based learning difference that causes those impacted to process language differently. Although the aforementioned signs will make learning harder for those with dyslexia, help and support are available!

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About Evelyn Wright

Evelyn Wright is the Director of Wright Academics, a tutoring business created to target kids’ specific needs. Her passion is helping students and families succeed so that they achieve their maximum potential in and out of the classroom.

With over 25 years of experience working with children and their families in public and private schools, as well as in private practice, Evelyn’s focus is understanding the individual’s learning profile, guiding families of children with learning differences and matching students to the tutor or coach that best fits the student. She believes in not only matching educational needs to the right tutor’s skills, but matching a student to the tutor with the right personality.