Badington House School

Dyslexia at primary school age: what you need to know

Published by Isbi Schools on Friday 23rd of April 2021 09:20:42 AM

In a previous article we discussed the signs of dyslexia for young children. Dyslexia is very difficult to identify and diagnose at a young age though, and many children do not receive a formal diagnosis until much later.

Signs of dyslexia at primary school age

An obvious sign of potential dyslexia is what is referred to as a “spiky” profile. This means a child has strong ability in some areas, but weaknesses in others.

There may also be other family members with similar weaknesses - though it is important to remember that not all children with dyslexia will have the same abilities and weaknesses.

General signs of dyslexia:

  • Slow speaking and/or writing
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty with following instructions
  • Forgetting words

Signs of dyslexia in writing:

  • A lower standard of writing compared with speaking ability
  • Written work is messy with lots of crossing out, different attempts at spellings of the same word etc
  • Confusion with letters that look similar eg b/d, p/q, p/g, n/u, m/w
  • Poor handwriting; many letters written in reverse; badly formed letters
  • One word spelled in many different ways across a single piece of work
  • Makes anagrams of words, eg tired/tried, bread/beard
  • Poor pencil grip and control
  • Produces phonetic and bizarre spelling of words
  • Uses unusual sequencing of letters or words

Signs of dyslexia in reading:

  • Slow reading progress
  • Difficulty with blending letters together
  • Difficulty with establishing syllable division or knowing the beginning/ending of words
  • Unusual pronunciation of words
  • No expression and poor comprehension when reading
  • Hesitant when reading aloud
  • Misses out or adds extra words when reading
  • Does not recognise familiar words
  • Finds it hard to follow the thread of a story being read or written
  • Finds it difficult to pick out the most important points from a piece of writing

Signs of dyslexia in numeracy:

  • Finds place value confusing, eg units, tens, hundreds
  • Finds mathematical symbols such as + and x signs confusing
  • Finds it difficult to remember things in order eg days of the week, tables etc

Signs of dyslexia with time:

  • Difficulty with learning to tell the time
  • Poor time keeping
  • Poor personal organisation
  • Difficulty with remembering what day/date it is, their birthday, seasons etc
  • Difficulty with concepts such as today, tomorrow, yesterday etc

Signs of dyslexia with skills:

  • Poor motor skills causing problems with pencil control
  • Difficulty with understanding non verbal communication
  • Difficulty with differences between left and right, up and down etc
  • Does not have a hand preference
  • Performance is uneven from day to day

Signs of dyslexia in behaviour:

  • Avoids or procrastinates work by sharpening pencils, looking for paper etc
  • Seems to daydream a lot; doesn’t listen
  • Easily distracted
  • Can be either very disruptive in lessons or withdrawn
  • Can become excessively tired due to the extra effort and concentration required in lessons

As mentioned in our previous article, one or two of these signs alone does not mean your child has dyslexia. Rather, several of these alongside having areas of clear ability would suggest the need for further investigation and perhaps assessment.

What to do if you are worried your child has dyslexia

If you are concerned your child may have dyslexia, speak to their teacher at school  or ask to speak to the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).

The only way dyslexia can be formally diagnosed is with a Diagnostic Assessment from a certified dyslexia assessor. However, a formal diagnosis is not required for SEN support to be provided to your child.

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