Early signs of Dyslexia

Here is a quick rundown of the early signs of dyslexia. There are not many of them but obviously dyslexia manifests itself in a person’s literacy ability, and these are the pre-reading signs.

If either you or your child’s other biological parent has dyslexia it’s a good idea to keep a look out for these signs. If both of you are dyslexic there is an even greater chance your child may inherit it.

early signs of dyslexia

Symptoms of dyslexia at age 2 ½:

  • Speaking with shorter than average sentences.

  • Reduce pronunciation ability.

  • Poorer application of Syntax (rules of language).

  • General slow development of language.

Symptoms of dyslexia at age 3:

  • Smaller than average vocabulary.

  • Reduced object naming ability.

Symptoms of dyslexia at age 5:

  • Impaired phonological awareness (ability to distinguish the smallest units of speech sound).

  • Reduced knowledge of letter sound correspondence.

Pre-reading intervention:

There are activities that can help prevent a child from developing dyslexia. These activities should be carried out before the child starts learning to read. They include alphabetic awareness, phonological awareness, rapid naming skills and phonological code awareness.

Fundamental pre-requisites skills for literacy:

  • Alphabetic awareness: Knowing the sounds and the letters in the alphabet.
  • Phonological awareness: The ability to blend together and break down the speech sounds in words. These skills can be encouraged in pre-reading children with simple rhyming and alliteration games.
  • Rapid naming: How quickly can a child recognise and name objects, such as numbers, letters or colours.
  • Phonological code awareness: The understanding of how combinations of letters represent sounds in the English language.


Genetic factors do affect the chances of a child developing dyslexia. If one parent has dyslexia the chances are greater than if neither had difficulties. Logically if both parents are dyslexic the child will have an even higher chance. This does NOT mean that if one or both parents are dyslexic it is set in stone that their children will be as well.

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Evidence for the Early Signs:

Very Early Language Deficits in Dyslexic Children.