The formal definition of dyslexia identified by the International Dyslexia Association, is:

     "Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge."

Many people with dyslexia struggle with a vareity of different skills. The different skills they struggle can include reading, spelling, speaking, and handwriting. Each person with dyslexia is different. Some children will have a severe level of difficulty with one skill, but only a moderate level of difficulty with another skill. Take a look at the "Does my child have Dyslexia" page for a list of possible warning signs.

Dyslexia can occur in children and adults of all abilities. In fact, people with dyslexia are often of average or above average ability. It is found in all socio-economic groups and in every country in the world. Dyslexia is not something that can be cured, but there are ways to help a person who has dyslexia. Through appropriate interventions (such as Dyslexia Therapy Program), people with dyslexia can learn to conquer their struggles. Please contact me for information on how I can help your child overcome their individual struggles. I not only want to help your child feel successful, but I want to help you. Check out the dyslexia tutoring page for more details.

Signs of Dyslexia

If a child has 3 or more of the following warning signs, encourage that child’s parents and teachers to learn more about dyslexia.

In Preschool

• delayed speech

• mixing up the sounds and syllables in long words

• chronic ear infections

• severe reactions to childhood illnesses

• constant confusion of left versus right

• late establishing a dominant hand

• difficulty learning to tie shoes

• trouble memorizing their address, phone number, or the alphabet

• can’t create words that rhyme

• a close relative with dyslexia

In Elementary School

• dysgraphia (slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read)

• letter or number reversals continuing past the end of first grade

• extreme difficulty learning cursive

• slow, choppy, inaccurate reading:

- guesses based on shape or context

- skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of)

- ignores suffixes

- can’t sound out unknown words

• terrible spelling

• often can’t remember sight words (they, were, does) or homonyms (their, they’re, and there)

• difficulty telling time with a clock with hands

• trouble with math

- memorizing multiplication tables

- memorizing a sequence of steps

- directionality

• when speaking, difficulty finding the correct word

- lots of “whatyamacallits” and “thingies”

- common sayings come out slightly twisted

• extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk

• dreads going to school

- complains of stomach aches or headaches

- may have nightmares about school

In Adults

Education history similar to above, plus:

• slow reader

• may have to read a page 2 or 3 times to understand it

• terrible speller

• difficulty putting thoughts onto paper

- dreads writing memos or letters

• still has difficulty with right versus left

• often gets lost, even in a familiar city

• sometimes confuses b and d, especially when

tired or sick

Preapproval of signs of dyslexia from Susan Barton 

If your child is struggling with reading, spelling, and/or comprehension please contact me. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have!

Kathleen Lavallee