Speech Development Blog

Dyslexia and Speech Development

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Dyslexia is a type of specific learning difficulty in which a child has difficulties with language and words. The most common characteristic of dyslexia is that the child has difficulty reading and spelling for no apparent reason. Your child might be intelligent and able to achieve well in other areas and subjects but is unable to read at the expected level. Spelling, comprehension, reading, and identification of words are all common problems that children with dyslexia face. It is important to acknowledge that dyslexia is not a symptom of low intelligence and, in fact, many highly intelligent and creative people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison both struggled with dyslexia.

Delayed speech is an early symptom of dyslexia and although delayed speech can be a common symptom for other speech delays and disorders, it does not hurt to get your child evaluated for dyslexia early so that your child can start receiving speech therapy and help for their difficulty. Below are some symptoms of dyslexia categorized by age:

Symptoms in preschoolers

Some of the symptoms of dyslexia or SLD in a preschooler could include:

  • Delayed speech.
  • Problems with pronunciation.
  • Problems with rhyming words and learning rhymes.
  • Difficulty with learning shapes, colours and how to write their own name.
  • Difficulty with retelling a story in the right order of events.

Symptoms in primary school children

Some of the symptoms in a primary school age child could include:

  • Problems with reading a single word.
  • Regularly confuses certain letters when writing, such as ‘d’ and ‘b’ or ‘m’ and ‘w’.
  • Regularly writes words backwards, such as writing ‘pit’ when the word ‘tip’ was intended.
  • Problems with grammar, such as learning prefixes or suffixes.
  • Tries to avoid reading aloud in class.
  • Doesn’t like reading books.
  • Reads below their expected level.

Symptoms in high school children

Some of the symptoms in a high school student could include:

  • Poor reading.
  • Bad spelling, including different misspellings of the same word in one writing assignment.
  • Difficulties with writing summaries.
  • Problems with learning a foreign language.

Symptoms in adults

Some of the symptoms in an adult could include:

  • Reading and spelling problems.
  • Doesn’t like reading books.
  • Avoids tasks that involve writing, or else gets someone else to do the writing for them.
  • Better than average memory.
  • Often, a greater than average spatial ability - the person may be talented in art, design, mathematics or engineering.

Although the exact cause of dyslexia in unknown and there is no cure, your child can benefit from specialized support which may include speech therapy. Talk to your doctor or child’s school if you suspect your child might be suffering from dyslexia. In a future blog topic, I will touch on what you can do in addition to speech therapy for your dyslexic child at home.

If you have any speech development, speech delay, or speech therapy questions, visit me at SpeechTails.com and I will gladly help in any way I can.  Have a great weekend!

Amy Reno - MS, CCC-SLP 

Free Child Speech Screener 

Topics: speech evaluation, speech development, assessing speech therapy, speech pathologist, speech language therapy, speech therapy, speech disorders, dyslexia, speech delay