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Understanding dyslexia goes beyond mere challenges in reading and writing

it's about comprehending oneself and recognizing the pervasive impact dyslexia can have on various aspects of life. By gaining insight into the broader scope of dyslexia, individuals can take note of its presence in their lives. This awareness serves as a valuable tool, allowing individuals to navigate daily experiences with a heightened understanding of how dyslexia influences their unique strengths and challenges.


  • Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but struggles to read, write, or spell at grade level.
  • Labeled as lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough,” or a “behavior problem.”
  • Isn’t considered “behind enough” or “bad enough” to receive help in the school setting.
  • High in IQ, yet may not perform well academically on tests; excels orally but not in written assessments.
  • Feels unintelligent; experiences low self-esteem; conceals weaknesses with clever compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
  • Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, storytelling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
  • Appears to “zone out” or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention; seems “hyper” or a “daydreamer.”
  • Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.


  • Complains of dizziness, headaches, or stomach aches while reading.
  • Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
  • Reading or writing exhibits repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers, and/or words.
  • Complains of feeling or seeing nonexistent movement while reading, writing, or copying.
  • Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don’t reveal a problem.
  • Extremely sharp-sighted and observant or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
  • Reads and rereads with little comprehension.
  • Spells phonetically and inconsistently.
  • Has extended hearing; hears things not said or apparent to others; easily distracted by sounds.
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts; speaks in halting phrases; leaves sentences incomplete; stutters under stress; mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.
  • Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
  • Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion sickness.
  • Can be ambidextrous and often confuses left/right, over/under.
  • Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time.
  • Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers but can’t perform on paper.
  • Can count but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money.
  • Can do arithmetic but struggles with word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.
  • Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
  • Poor memory for sequences, facts, and information that has not been experienced.
  • Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).
  • Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
  • Can be a class clown, troublemaker, or too quiet.
  • Experienced unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes).
  • Susceptible to ear infections, often on one side due to the narrowed Eustachian tube, can lead to earlier onset of ear infections at a young age and increased production of wax under stress at a later age, resulting in blockage of the tube.
  • Sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
  • Can be an exceptionally deep or light sleeper; bed-wetting beyond an appropriate age.
  • Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
  • Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
  • Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.