Dyslexia symptoms, difficulties & some strengths!

Please note that this list is NOT a diagnosis of dyslexia. It is however a list of common traits, difficulties and strengths that research has shown is common in
those who have been diagnosed as dyslexic.

Not every one will demonstrate all of these and there will be more than appear on this list.

Early years

  • Learning to talk later than children the same age
  • Difficulty saying certain words, such as mawn-lower instead of lawn-mower, busgetti for spaghetti
  • Adding new words to their vocabulary only very slowly
  • Finding it hard to think of the right word when talking
  • Difficulty working out which words rhyme
  • Problems learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colours, shapes, how to spell and write her or his name
  • Difficulty in following multi-step routines or directions such as those in action songs, games or an activity such as getting dressed
  • Motor skills – such as being able to hold and use a pencil properly, may develop far more slowly than in other children of the same age.

Some Discrepancies

  • Effort & intelligence vs. attainment. (Never seems to get the grades to reflect the effort and work put in).
  • Oral vs. Written word in English or a foreign language. (Can speak it can’t write it).
  • Oral vs. Written comprehension between curriculum subjects. (Can’t seem to get things on to paper but can talk about it).
  • Ability vs. confidence (low confidence).
  • Understanding vs. recollection of facts (poor memory).
  • Work put in vs. quality of end product (the end result is disappointing).
  • Good days’ vs. Bad days (being able to do something one day and not the next).
  • Timed vs. Untimed work (with no time limit, work produced is far superior to if timed).


Dyslexics can also be good at . . .

  • Practical skills ‘hand on’ or finding alternate solutions to problems.
  • May have a great emotional memory.
  • Visual recall.
  • Having a knack of explaining things in different ways to different people.
  • With people, ‘a people person’.
  • Mentoring and team leading.
  • Architecture
  • Guessing the right thing to do.
  • Good global visual-spatial ability.
  • Different ways of thinking – Thinks outside the box!
  • Enhanced verbal strengths.
  • Empathetic.
  • Imaginative.
  • Artistic – painting sculpture etc.
  • Good with colour.
  • Musical.
  • Good at higher mathematical concepts (algebra etc).

And these are just a few!

Hints & Tips

If you think your child may be dyslexic . . ,

  • Make an appointment to see your child’s teacher and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).
  • Be sure to tell the school of any family history of dyslexia or symptoms like those recognized on this list.
  • Keep in Communication with the school.
  • Keep a dairy, recording meeting dates, outcomes, action points etc.
  • Check the diary regularly, ensuring that both you and the school are up to date with things.

Download this information as a Dyslexia symptoms, difficulties & some strengths! information leaflet. What is Dyslexia Leaflet (c) 2020

So what is dyslexia?

Question Mark BlueThere are lots of symptoms to be found either on the internet, in books etc.

You many have found yourself feeling overwhelmed or inundated with the amount of symptoms that are out there.

As a dyslexic I found it useful to know that there are three main areas that many researchers believe effect dyslexics.

These three areas are often referred to as the ‘Core Deficits’ of dyslexia.

Roughly translated this means the central problem areas…for want of a
much more positive way of putting it!

The Three main core deficits:

Latin translation: Deficit = to be lacking in something.

Short-term memory:

The bit of our memory that holds information whilst we decide if it is to be stored or discarded sometimes referred to as working or active memory.

Phonological Awareness:

Put simply … the awareness of the sounds that make up words.


The ability to do things automatically e.g. driving, swimming, recalling a spelling!

The good thing is that once you know about these three areas it helps you to understand how they affect you.

So next time you look at that lists of symptoms try to think about how one or a combination of the core deficits may create the symptoms that we read about or

Some dyslexics do sometimes say, “I’m a terrible speller” or “I spell a word right once then wrong several times in the same piece of work”.

This could be down to a deficit in one two or even all three of the core deficits mentioned above.

‘… when I am asked how to spell something I find I am often able to real it off straight away but then I am unable to repeat it if asked again 30 seconds later…’

Remember that each dyslexic is individual with an individual list of symptoms. The way the core deficits or combination of core deficits affect dyslexics will differ from person to person.

If you are interested in finding out more, why not sign up for an introduction or awareness course with Elizabeth Wilkinson of The DDC.

Elizabeth is herself dyslexic as is most of her family which allows her the knowledge and experience to offer a unique and worth while learning experience.

Download this page as a So what is dyslexia? Information Leaflet.