Gloucestershire Dyslexia Association

10 Signs Of Dyslexia

Dyslexia: 10 Classroom Indicators


Signs of dyslexia usually become more obvious when children start school and begin to focus on reading and writing. Here are ten of the most common warning signs! 


  1. Phonological awareness

This is the ability to recognise individual sounds (phonemes) and work with them to create new words.


Typical difficulties are:

  • Confusing vowel sounds.
  • Recognizing words that rhyme.
  • Chunking words into syllables.

Blending sounds into a whole word. 

  1. Typical spelling mistakes
  • Spelling words as they sound

e.g. wont instead of want


  • Mixing up the sequence of letters

e.g. hlep instead of help


  • Reversing the sequence of letters

e.g. was instead of saw


  • Missing out a letter

e.g. wich instead of which


  • Using the wrong letter

e.g. showt instead of shout


  • Adding an extra letter

e.g. whent instead of went


  • Using a ‘t’ instead of ‘ed’

e.g. lookt instead of looked


  • Can’t remember when to use ‘ck’ or ‘ke’ at the end

e.g. lick instead of like



Words and letters are often jumbled in the mind.


  1. Unable to remember times tables and number sequences

A multiplication fact may seem to be learned and then a few days later has been forgotten again.
The same goes for phone numbers. Difficulty remembering a sequence of numbers is a sure sign of dyslexia.

  1. Writing

Someone with dyslexia is likely to have lots of ideas but have difficulty putting them into writing.
They will take much longer to write and producing less than other students.

Many people with dyslexia write long rambling sentences with no punctuation.
Although there may be lots of ideas they often do not know where to start.


  1. Reading

Immediately forgetting what has just been read.

Slower reading speed.

Missing out words or skipping lines as they read.

Have you ever read a page, got to the bottom and realized you’ve just forgotten everything you read?

This happens all the time to those with dyslexia.
Words and their meanings don’t stick very well.
Reading becomes slow when you have to work out every word and expends so much mental energy on the process that no memory capacity is left to comprehend.


Dyslexia means you may read a word and then further down the page not recognize it again. There is no visual memory for the word.
Their eyes can seem to jump over words, missing them out, skip out whole lines, sometimes they just skip part of a word.


  1. Homophones – there – their

A homophone sounds the same as another word but is spelled differently.

They are a nightmare for those with dyslexia who usually have a poor memory for how a word looks and quickly learn to rely upon the strategy of learning to spell a word by building it phonetically. This doesn’t work for homophones.


  1. Do you know the Alphabet? Backwards!

Dyslexia causes difficulty recalling sequences accurately so it is very likely that learning the alphabet will be problematic.

Using songs and rhyme often helps but the real giveaway is whether they can say it backwards – a nearly impossible task for those with dyslexia!

Dyslexia is also likely to cause problems learning the names and sounds of letters.

  1. Mixing up left and right

It has become a cliché but its true that many with dyslexia cannot learn to automatically remember left and right. They have to stop and think about it.


  1. Can’t remember what you’ve been told.

A sure sign is difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions.

“Get out your book, turn to page 23, read the three pages” A dyslexic might remember one of these things and have to ask again. But having to ask again makes them feel stupid.


  1. Reversing numbers

Someone with dyslexia might see 57 but remember it as 75

Or write the answer to 6×7 as 24 instead of 42.

The output of the information becomes muddled.

Children with dyslexia who have been taught phonics can often learn to say the individual sounds but not blend them together. They can’t hold the sequence of sounds in their head for long enough. They might just panic and guess wildly.


Remember, no two people with dyslexia are exactly the same, so any child could have a mix of these signs.


Signs of dyslexia

There is a misconception that dyslexia just affects the ability to read and write. If this were true, it would be much easier to identify. In fact dyslexia can have an affect on areas such as coordination, organisation and memory.

Each person with dyslexia will experience the condition in a way that is unique to them and as such, each will have their own set of abilities and difficulties.

However, if you know what to look for, there common signs that can help you to identify whether the difficulties being experienced could be indicative of dyslexia and would suggest that further investigation could be beneficial.

To find out more about the signs of dyslexia visit the relevant page:


Signs of dyslexia (Secondary school age) – British Dyslexia Association (

Skip to content