Dyslexia Week: Early Identification

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Kindred
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Welcome to another day of Dyslexia Awareness Week, where each day has it’s own theme. Today’s theme is Early Identification. So… this post is all about how to identify the signs of dyslexia.

Most people will probably know dyslexia as difficulty reading, moving letters and/ or issues with writing. Those are some of the main bits of it, but it can be so much more varied than that too.
Dyslexia is different for everybody and issues one person has may not be an issue for other while something some people are great at may be hard for others. There are some signs that tend to indicate dyslexia though and you might be surprised by how many there are (I was).

You might also think dyslexia is a childhood thing. Well that’s not quite true either. Dyslexia is a lifelong condition which means you are born with it and will have it until death. Children can often have a harder time with it because adults are more able to develop coping mechanisms, but it’s also quite common for dyslexia to go unnoticed until adult life. A common trigger for noticing dyslexia is college or uni because of the increased need for independent work and study. That’s when I noticed things myself. I started having more difficulties at college and eventually I got diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD just before the start of uni.

Anyway, let’s get down to business. Bellow I’m going to add in some of the common signs and traits of dyslexia along with a bit of explanation and advice on how to recognise things. There are quite a few of them so I’ll try to break them into categories to make things easier.
What I would love is if you guys could get involved and either add some of your own experiences and traits or ask any questions you have about traits, how to recognise them or what to do if you think you have some. I’ll be adding some of my own experiences as I go too.

Reading:
click here

Fuzzy, moving, blurred letters or words- You may have sight issues which are especially noticeable when reading and lead to text being blurry or otherwise distorted. This may vary depending on various factors so not be at a constant level.

Loosing what line you’re on- It can be hard to transition from the end of one line to the start of another or to find the line you were on after looking away from a moment because it's hard to distinguish which line is which. This can also apply to charts or graphs and any other visual image.

Head or eye aches- Trying to read through blurry text can be tiring and cause some pain. People with dyslexia can also suffer from pattern glare which basically means a sensitivity to reflected light (like off white paper). Like how you get a headache from trying to look at things outside when it’s really sunny, dyslexic people can get one from reflections off white paper, the contrast of black on white or a bright computer screen. Something that can help with this is tinted glasses or overlays because it reduces that contrast and glare.

“Sight problems”- The dyslexic sight issues that come from the brain can easily be mistaken for ones caused by eyes. I had glasses for astigmatism that were useless cos I didn’t have astigmatism- I had dyslexia.

Needing to re-read- You might find you need to re-read things a lot. This isn't down to stupidity and not understanding it, but more that you can't remember it or it never even made it into your head. It may also be because a small mistake throws off the whole thing.

I think sometimes I read letters instead of words so I have no idea what a thing actually says and sometimes I'll read one word wrong or miss a word that totally changes what something means. They can be really crazy mistakes sometimes too so I have to take a moment to laugh at myself before I can continue.
I also had a big issue with loosing my place when reading as a kid and would often have to re-read multiple lines because I lost the line then couldn't remember what I had just read to help me find it again.


Writing:
click here

Spelling- Often the same type of mistakes (like double letters where there shouldn’t be, mixing up s and c etc). Some things get muddles up in a dyslexic brain and it can be difficult to remember which letter makes what sound or if that word is a double or not. This may be something that just requires some extra thought so can be fine until it’s timed work like a test or you’re in a rush.

Jumbling letters/ numbers or using the wrong letter/ number- Ordering things can be hard and your brain can mix around the order of things (like 51 vs 15). This can be especially difficult for children who have only just learned what the letters and numbers are.

Writing things the wrong way around- To a dyslexic mind d and b can look a lot alike or it may be difficult to remember which way a 5 goes.


Slow writing- all those things up there mean dyslexic people need to focus a lot more when they’re writing and are thinking about a lot more things. That takes time and can slow us down. It can also be difficult to keep track of thoughts in a dyslexic head so sometimes there’s a need to really try to hold onto a thought (like what to write next) and trying to find that thought again if you loose it can take a lot of time.
Typing- also a victim of dyslexia. You may tap the wrong key or do any of the above mess ups. You may also have different common mistakes when writing and typing.

I tend to find I can write (or type) either fast or well. Writing well takes a lot longer and may not contain what I want to say because it took me too much focus to write “very” and I forgot what the rest of the sentence was meant to be. Writing fast means the ideas get down, but I can make a lot of small errors (like spelling very verry), put and instead of any (I just had to correct that above) or putting a u instead of a y (happens a lot when I’m typing).


Thinking:
click here

One of the more obscure trait that people tend not to know about is how dyslexic people think.
Making random links- these aren’t as random as you might think. People have bridges in their brain which connect different things. It’s why you think of a banana if I say yellow or of poop when I say stink. Dyslexic people have more of these bridges so make more links. Some of them can seem quite random or skip some steps in a ‘normal’ person’s view, but to a dyslexic person it makes perfect sense just as yellow and banana do.

Day dreaming- this is down to those links again. Making more links means more chance for distraction. In children (or adults) it can also be down to them finding something too difficult or tiring to read so giving up. Sounds lazy, but it gets tiring having to force focus when you’re reading or guess letters based on their blurry outline.

I used to be a day dreamer at school and could sometimes blank a whole talk from the teacher. And I could often end up on some crazy thought trail form all the random links and go totally off topic with thoughts or work (my creative writing essay for says was so messy cos I couldn't keep to the one idea). That's less of an issues now because I developed coping mechanisms, but my bf does still tell me off for making such random comments in mid conversation (or for ignoring him multiple times- but that's the ADD turning my ears off).


Behaviour/ appearance:
click here

Slow- Dyslexic people may take longer to do things or appear slow. Why? You're having to actively think about more things so everything takes more time. Sometimes that could be taking longer to respond to directions because you need to apply that to where you are, sometimes it could be taking ages making a dyslexia post for TRS because it's too much effort having to correct so many little mistakes, sometimes it's getting left behind in class reading because you got lost with the lines and had to re-read a section multiple times for it to get into your head.

At junior school I was apparently somewhat slow. I always got time outs for not stopping writing soon enough (even though I was just finishing my sentence like we were told to) and some of my class once came to my defence when a sub told me off for being too slow by saying that just what I was like.
By secondary school though I'd developed coping mechanisms and became one of the smart kids. I finished my work before other people and class mates always asked me for help with spelling (ironic).


Milestones:
click here

So we've pretty much covered that for people with dyslexia the world is a lot more complicated and things have a lot more stages to them. This can mean it takes children with dyslexia longer to reach milestones like crawling, jumping, holding a pencil, reading etc.
Dyslexia can also have links to dyspraxia (a coordination issue) and may have some dyspraxic features. That can mean that some simple things involve a lot more thought. Different people may have issues with different things, but common ones in kids are taking longer to learn to jump, catch a ball or hold a pencil.

To give an idea of what I mean, I find it difficult to throw a ball with spin because I have to actively think about moving my arm and when to have it straight or bent, moving my wrist, keeping my fingers still, letting go, facing the right way etc etc all at the same time. And I still have to catch to my chest because I can't get my fingers to close at the right time and end up just slapping the ball otherwise.
A good way to explain this is games like surgeon simulator and don't spill your coffee which break simple actions into an insane amount of separate processes.


There you go. That's a list of some of the common signs of dyslexia along with some of my personal experience.
If you're wondering about some things you've noticed about yourself, but they aren't there or you experience them a bit differently do bare in mind that everybody's experience is different and also that there are multiple forms of learning difficulty so you might be experiencing something from one of them. If you are noticing things you think are strange it's always worth having a chat with your GP even if you can't find a condition they match to.
You can find some more info on dyslexia on sites like Dyslexia Action.
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-Eirlys-
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#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
My brother has dyslexia. He often got more attention and help with homework. Although I was fine with my school work, sometimes it made me feel a little left out. I kept it to myself until they paid my brother as a reward to learn the time, but I got stickers. I tried my best to understand and be supportive of my brother, but I felt my parents were a little unfair. They found out how I felt and ended up giving me money and realised that it wasn't fair to me. They reminded me that there is no parenting guide book and it showed it was a lesson to them as well.

People don't really talk about the siblings of someone with dyslexia, however, I am not bothered by it at all and we have been treated entirely equal all of our lives. My brother is actually really not bad at reading and writing now. He is more intelligent than he realises, but he lost a lot of confidence after school, with the little support he got. He often got frustrated and I think he felt like people viewed him as dumb. He is constantly working in dead end jobs and I hear of people getting degrees when they have dyslexia and I wish he would look ahead and aim for something bigger.
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04MR17
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#3
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(Original post by hannxm)
My brother has dyslexia. He often got more attention and help with homework. Although I was fine with my school work, sometimes it made me feel a little left out. I kept it to myself until they paid my brother as a reward to learn the time, but I got stickers. I tried my best to understand and be supportive of my brother, but I felt my parents were a little unfair. They found out how I felt and ended up giving me money and realised that it wasn't fair to me. They reminded me that there is no parenting guide book and it showed it was a lesson to them as well.

People don't really talk about the siblings of someone with dyslexia, however, I am not bothered by it at all and we have been treated entirely equal all of our lives. My brother is actually really not bad at reading and writing now. He is more intelligent than he realises, but he lost a lot of confidence after school, with the little support he got. He often got frustrated and I think he felt like people viewed him as dumb. He is constantly working in dead end jobs and I hear of people getting degrees when they have dyslexia and I wish he would look ahead and aim for something bigger.
I think you touch on a lot of issues common to a lot of disabilities and conditions there. The idea of siblings feeling left out in terms of attention is very common, as is the idea that disability is somehow a limitation on what you can achieve. Thanks for sharing.
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Kindred
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#4
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#4
(Original post by hannxm)
My brother has dyslexia. He often got more attention and help with homework. Although I was fine with my school work, sometimes it made me feel a little left out. I kept it to myself until they paid my brother as a reward to learn the time, but I got stickers. I tried my best to understand and be supportive of my brother, but I felt my parents were a little unfair. They found out how I felt and ended up giving me money and realised that it wasn't fair to me. They reminded me that there is no parenting guide book and it showed it was a lesson to them as well.

People don't really talk about the siblings of someone with dyslexia, however, I am not bothered by it at all and we have been treated entirely equal all of our lives. My brother is actually really not bad at reading and writing now. He is more intelligent than he realises, but he lost a lot of confidence after school, with the little support he got. He often got frustrated and I think he felt like people viewed him as dumb. He is constantly working in dead end jobs and I hear of people getting degrees when they have dyslexia and I wish he would look ahead and aim for something bigger.
Those are some really good points you touch on. Dyslexia and other learning difficulties can kill confidence and it's really important to try to build it back up, but with other kids around you do need to be careful about what looks like special treatment or seems unfair. You don't want the other kids feeling left out r ignored and you certainly don't want them resenting the other kid because of it.

It's really great that your parents did notice that and resolve it. Obviously it would be crazy to give every kid a reward for something they find easy just cos one kid has a hard time with it, but finding an equal challenge for those kids and giving them similar rewards for achieving it is totally an option. It's fair and it teaches kids that you can be proud of yourself regardless of what other people are doing.

My brother and I tended to get ignored a bit at school cos we were in a middle ground- both smart enough to not need help, but not the smartest and both good kids who didn't stir up trouble. My parents got so ****ed off with every report card I got where my name was spelt wrong and all it said was "is a lovely girl" or similar non-statement.
I never got rewards either. No certificated until it came to the "who doesn't have one?" stage and no stickers or anything. I guess people didn't think I needed the motivation cos I was an easy kid.

Lucky for us our parents built us up. If it had been left to school I'd be an illiterate puddle of low self esteem by now.

As for the sibling of dyslexia thing, it's not terribly obvious until you actually pay attention, but being a sibling of somebody with a special need or learning difficulty really does have an impact. It's a whole different home life and relationship model, even if it's just a tiny bit.

Thanks for your response. It's really interesting to hear it from another perspective.
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Pj5
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#5
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I really hear what you are saying. I have some of the same feelings but more of being on your brother side . It’s so hard and I so want to accomplish college get degree at what I want and not work dead end jobs. My self esteem shot so much of time from my I feel life long dyslexia however I didn’t realize how bad I have dyslexia and many of my children I realize due to intro had to start working as a single mom at this one job and keep typing so far away and struggle so just to get notes in it’s just so hard thank you for what you said about your brother
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