Signs of a Learning Difference
If you know a person with 3 or more of these signs and symptoms, we encourage you to learn more about dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Check our Resources Page to learn more.


Delayed speech
Difficulty rhyming and learning nursery rhymes
Unable to recognize letters in his/her name
Mispronounces familiar words; persistent “baby talk”
Difficulty remembering the names of the letters
Confusion between left & right
Difficulty learning to tie shoes
Close relative with dyslexia

Slow, choppy, inaccurate reading (frequent guessing at words; skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of );
unable to sound out even simple words like cat, nap, or map
Complains that reading is hard, that s/he hates reading, and acts out when it is time to read or do homework
Difficulty finding the correct word when speaking
Does not understand that words can be broken apart
Does not associate letters with letter sounds
History of reading difficulties in siblings or parents
Letter or number reversals continuing beyond 1st grade

Very slow at acquiring reading skills
Reading is slow and awkward
Trouble reading unfamiliar words; guesses at long or unfamiliar words
Has no attack plan for new words; unable to sound out
Avoids reading out loud
Dreads going to school; complains of stomach aches or headaches
Slow, non-automatic handwriting
extreme difficulty learning cursive writing
Trouble with rote memorization (multiplication tables, sight words, dates, phone numbers, etc.)
Terrible spelling
Mispronunciation of unfamiliar words
Difficulty finding the right word when speaking; says words like “stuff” and “thing” instead; misspeaks using similar sounding words, e.g. “lotion” for “ocean”, “tornado” for “volcano”
Low self-esteem

All of the above symptoms
Struggles to finish tests on time
Extreme difficulty learning foreign languages
Needs extra time to respond to questions; hesitates before speaking; uses lots of “um’s”
Poor handwriting
Big discrepancy between verbal and written skills
Poor grades
Talks of dropping out of school

Childhood history of reading and spelling difficulties
Reading is slow and requires great effort
Rarely reads for pleasure
Avoids reading out loud
Must re-read materials 2-3 times to understand
Terrible spelling
Confusion with directionals