Dyslexia Learning Support

Specialised support in Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties.

What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects how an individual processes the information they see (visual) and hear (auditory) affecting reading, writing and spelling skills. Distinctive features of dyslexia include deficits in phonological awareness, verbal memory and processing speed. Difficulties can also be experienced with mental calculation, concentration, motor coordination, and personal organisation.

Dyslexia is a life-long condition and can occur in a range of intellectual abilities. Quite commonly dyslexia co-occurs with other learning difficulties, such as ADHD and dyspraxia. Many dyslexic people show strengths in areas such as problem-solving, abstract and critical thinking and visual and creative fields.

Signs Of Dyslexia

The leading indicators of dyslexia are problems learning the letter sounds for reading and spelling, difficulty reading single words, lack of accuracy and fluency when reading and poor spelling. One of the strongest predictors of dyslexia is having a close relative with reading problems.

Pre-School Age Indicators
  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty paying attention, sitting still, listening to stories
  • Likes listening to stories but shows no interest in letters or words
  • Difficulty learning to sing or recite the alphabet
  • A history of slow speech development
  • Difficulty keeping simple rhythm
  • Finds it hard to carry out two or more instructions at one time
  • Forgets names of friends, teacher, colours etc.
  • Poor auditory discrimination
  • Confusion between directional words e.g. up/down
  • Family history of dyslexia/reading difficulties
  • Appears not to be listening or paying attention
Primary School Age Indicators
  • Speed of processing: slow spoken and/or written language
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Forgetting words
  • Confused by letters which look similar, particularly b/d, p/g, p/q, n/u, m/w
  • Poor handwriting with many ‘reversals’ and badly formed letters
  • Spells a word several different ways in one piece of writing
  • Produces badly set-out written work, doesn’t stay close to the margin
  • Poor pencil grip
  • Produces phonetic and bizarre spelling: not age/ability appropriate
  • Uses unusual sequencing of letters or words
  • Slow reading progress
  • Finds it difficult to blend letters together
  • Has difficulty in establishing syllable division or knowing the beginnings and endings of words
  • Unusual pronunciation of words
  • No expression in reading, and poor comprehension
  • Hesitant and laboured reading, especially when reading aloud
  • Misses out words when reading, or adds extra words
  • Fails to recognise familiar words
  • Loses the point of a story being read or written
  • Has difficulty in picking out the most important points from a passage
  • Difficulty remembering anything in a sequential order, e.g. tables, days of the week, the alphabet
  • Has difficulty learning to tell the time
  • Poor time keeping
  • Poor personal organisation
  • Difficulty remembering what day of the week it is, their birth date, seasons of the year, months of the year
  • Difficulty with concepts – yesterday, today, tomorrow
  • Poor motor skills, leading to weaknesses in speed, control and accuracy of the pencil
  • Memory difficulties e.g. for daily routines, self-organisation, rote learning
  • Confused by the difference between left and right, up and down, east and west
  • Indeterminate hand preference
  • Easily distracted
  • Is excessively tired due to amount of concentration and effort required
Secondary School Age Indicators
  • Has a poor standard of written work compared with oral ability
  • Has poor handwriting with badly formed letters or has neat handwriting, but writes very slowly
  • Produces badly set out or messy written work, with spellings crossed out several times
  • Spells the same word differently in one piece of work
  • Has difficulty with punctuation and/or grammar
  • Confuses upper and lower case letters
  • Writes a great deal but ‘loses the thread’
  • Writes very little, but to the point
  • Has difficulty taking notes in lessons
  • Has difficulty with organisation of homework
  • Finds tasks difficult to complete on time
  • Appears to know more than they can commit to paper
  • Is hesitant and laboured, especially when reading aloud
  • Omits, repeats or adds extra words
  • Reads at a reasonable rate, but has a low level of comprehension
  • Fails to recognise familiar words
  • Misses a line or repeats the same line twice
  • Loses their place easily/uses a finger or marker to keep the place
  • Has difficulty in pin-pointing the main idea in a passage
  • Has difficulty using dictionaries, directories, encyclopaedias
  • Has difficulty remembering tables and/or basic number sets
  • Finds sequencing problematic
  • Confuses signs such as x for +
  • Can think at a high level in mathematics, but needs a calculator for simple calculations
  • Misreads questions that include words
  • Finds mental arithmetic at speed very difficult
  • Finds memorising formulae difficult
  • Confuses direction – left/right
  • Has difficulty in learning foreign languages
  • Has difficulty in finding the name for an object
  • Has clear difficulties processing information at speed
  • Misunderstands complicated questions
  • Finds holding a list of instructions in memory difficult, although can perform all tasks when told individually
  • Is disorganised or forgetful e.g. over sports equipment, lessons, homework, appointments
  • Is easily distracted. May find it difficult to remain focused on the task
  • Is often in the wrong place at the wrong time
  • Is excessively tired, due to the amount of concentration and effort required