Dyslexia is a learning disability that can affect a person’s ability to read and do well academically. When it remains undetected for a long time, it can hurt a child’s ability to excel, their self-esteem, and their school experience. However, with proper support and help, dyslexia can be managed successfully. A child with this problem can do well in school and beyond the academic field. The sooner dyslexia is detected, the easier can it be to support it. While often it is not recognized until a child is in school and begins to struggle, it is possible to see some early signs of the problem.
The first sign is that the child might take longer than others to start speaking. They might also take a long time to move beyond “baby talk” or early mispronunciations of different words. Children develop speech at different rates, but an early sign of dyslexia might be a slow process in this regard. They might have a hard time learning new words or pronouncing them correctly.
Difficulties with stories and rhymes
Another early sign is that a child with dyslexia is that they might struggle more with activities that involve stories, rhymes, or lyrics. They might not be able to tell a story as well as other children their age and struggle to learn and repeat a nursery rhyme.
Difficulties with the alphabet
Children with dyslexia might have a hard time telling the letters of the alphabet apart. They might not learn the letters easily and avoid tasks that involve reading, even at a very basic level, letter by letter, or telling the letters that make up their name.
Difficulties with verbal instructions
Children with dyslexia might have a harder time following instructions they receive. They might not identify what is being said to them and not process the information. It can be noticed in day-to-day situations or when children are in a new setting, for example, playing a game like “Simon Says.”
Reading problems (and writing problems) are key features of dyslexia. They might not become apparent until the child has to do reading for school or preschool, but one might notice that they avoid related activities. The child might dislike reading or being taught to read and struggle with elements, like the alphabet, spelling, sounding words out, and more.
While dyslexia becomes especially pressing during the school years, it is possible to see some signs beforehand. A single issue, in isolation, does not equal dyslexia. A child might be slower to speak than another, for example, or struggle with verbal instructions due to attentional issues. However, it is worth examining to see what’s going on.
Detecting dyslexia early on has a lot of advantages. It means that the child won’t have to face academic issues and will be able to receive the support they need as they start school. It can boost their self-confidence and prevent negative situations where the child feels stupid because they are not as capable as their peers and don’t know why. Early detection can help minimize the impact of dyslexia on the child’s life and improve outcomes.