Is My Child Dyslexic? Signs of Dyslexia by Age Group

Parents of elementary-aged children may sense that their child’s reading and writing progress is not going as expected. They may have noticed something different about how their child interacts with language long before schooling began and might be wondering if their child is dyslexic. But, can parents truly see signs of dyslexia in early childhood? What if a parent misses the early signs? Can one’s literacy progress be rerouted? When should parents begin to ask questions or take a dyslexia quiz? The good news is that the signs are clear if you know what to look for. According to Diagnosing Dyslexia, a Lexercise blog post, parents and teachers can observe signs of dyslexia as early as preschool or kindergarten. 

Below, we will explore signs of dyslexia by age group and give you the tools to take the next step to help your child if they are not meeting literacy expectations.

What Are the Signs of Dyslexia by Age?

Early Signs of Dyslexia

early signs of dyslexia in preschool and kindergarten

Does your preschool or kindergarten child show any of these signs?

  • A history of blood relative(s) with reading, spelling, and/or school difficulties
  • Difficulty with:
    • speech and pronunciation
    • accessing or manipulating letters and sounds
    • learning letter names, sounds, or sequences
    • early writing skills (coloring and forming letters)
    • following directions
    • recalling names of familiar things accurately and quickly
    • blending sounds to make words
    • rhyming

Middle of the Road Signs

Does your 1st-grade child show any of these signs?

  • A history of blood relative(s) with reading, spelling, and/or school difficulties
  • Difficulty with:
    • reading words accurately (especially when reading isolated words)
    • spelling
    • language organization
    • detecting the speech sounds that make up words and connecting sounds to letters

If your child is being taught using a science-backed reading method and yet having unexpected difficulties developing early reading and/or writing skills, take the Lexercise dyslexia quiz to assess the risk of dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association and Reading Rockets state that children should be screened and can be identified as struggling readers prior to 3rd grade. Children identified as at risk by early screenings and who are given early intervention have better outcomes. Is it too late if your child is in Grade 3 or higher? No. Intervention can be effective with older students and even adults. Below, we will explore dyslexia signs that present in older students.

Rerouting Time

Does your elementary-age or older child show any of these signs? 

  • A history of blood relative(s) with reading, spelling, and/or school difficulties 
  • Difficulty with:
    • reading aloud
    • pronouncing new and unfamiliar words from print
    • reading comprehension 
    • written language formulation
      • word usage and spelling
      • sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation
      • paragraph organization
      • written expression in comparison to oral expression
    • mispronunciation of commonly used words 
    • advanced (academic) vocabulary words
    • learning a foreign language
    • math
      • memorizing math facts
      • solving word problems
Lexercise expert therapy partner and author of this blog post, Maridee Roberson B.S., SLDS

A child may not possess all the signs, but if they have several signs listed above it may be time for testing and evaluation. Over 300,000 families have administered the Lexercise free dyslexia quiz to determine their child’s risk of dyslexia. You can also contact me for a free consultation to learn more about how to overcome the literacy challenges your child is facing.

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Maridee Roberson

Maridee Roberson, B.S., SLDS | Redeem Reading

"As a compassionate teacher, I use my passion and skills to inspire a love of reading and encourage confident life-long learners through structured literacy. I love equipping and empowering families."