Young children and dyslexia

Hello, I am concerned about my 5 year old son and dyslexia. I have been concerned with his learning and writing abilities for 2 years. I was told the things he does were a phase and that he would outgrow them. Unfortunately that has not been the case. The writing has gotten worse and he has just finished a miserable year in preschool. The more that I learn by researching online, the more concerned I am becoming about him. I don’t know where to go for an appropriate diagnoses and from there, I will have no idea where to go. Can I go to his regular doctor or do I need to seek a specialist? I look forward to meeting some new people here and hopefully I can be of some help to some of you.

My daughter had to wait until she was seven to be seen by a specialist. Hang
in there because we were told that she had a low I.Q. by her school and
would always be “slow”. The neuroscientist confirmed that she had a high I.Q. and
would go on to be a very functioning person in our society. My husband and I
moved and put our daughter into a school that understands dyslexia and now my
daughter at the age of ten is a straight A student. Just listen to your
heart, because you don’t want your child to fall through the cracks.

************************************** See what’s free at

Thank you for replying to my message. That is my concern, that it will be
overlooked and he will end up way behind. I am trying to find someone local
who will be able to do some diagnosis. I really don’t want to wait 2 more
years but if I end up having to, what can I do really? I will just
continue to work with him and hope all goes well. How did you locate a
school where you knew your daughter would be better off? thank you again,
I really appreciate your time and wish you all the best.

----- Original Message -----
From: “jordansmom”
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: [dyslexia] young children and dyslexia

This may sound strange but to help your child get them into juggling, music
or anything that works with the right\left brain. But most of all be paicent.
You can only imagine how frustating it is for them. How does your child do
with their peers? Our daughter was “normal” (if you will) in every aspect of
her life other than reading and writing. Some children with dyslexia also have
problems with math.

We put our daughter

************************************** See what’s free at

I didn’t get all of your post. I was cut off at We put our daughter… My
address is if you want to mail me.

My son is OK with his peers, he is very quiet and tends to attach to one or
two of his classmates, which is really tough. He is very quiet in new
situations, which is something I have done with him since he was very young.
I show dogs and he has been attending dog shows with me since he was 3
months old. I assumed he would be used to new crowds and new faces but he is

He is very sensitive also. His feelings get hurt very quickly, which is
another reason he is having so many problems with learning new things. He is
always afraid that he will be different than everyone else. I want him to
embrace his differences but he is just too young to grasp that at this

He has been attending a Christian School and his reports for his progress
during the year were anything but promising. "Needs work with writing,
constantly writes letters and numbers backwards and from the bottom up, not
top to bottom, reads numbers backwards, 17 is not 17, it is 71 to him."
Things like this are what is becoming more alarming to me. He has other
signs that I have been researching as well. remembering places and things
from the past with amazing vividness, things I have completely forgotten
about. Trouble catching a ball and large motor skills like that.

Guess I will just continue trucking along and see what I can find.

Thanks for all of the input and info. I really appreciate all of it!! It
is a great help.

----- Original Message -----
From: “jordansmom”
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: [dyslexia] young children and dyslexia

We put our daughter into a district that had better scores and went and
talked to the school before she attended there. The teacher they had picked for
her has a niece that has dyslexia and she has a IEP teacher that is dyslexic.
Her IEP teacher had the entire staff at this public school read Overcoming
Dyslexia. I had teachers that I had never met walk up to me and say things like
I think my child may be dyslexic or my student might be. There are studies
that up to 30% of the people in the world have some form of it. All I can say
is be involved. I volunteer four days a week in her IEP classroom and I see so
many kids that their parents don’t get involved. They are lucky that they
have a school that cares but who is to know what junior high will be like.
Also, our insurance covered 100% of her private testing, so you might want to
check into it for your child. I can go on and on about this, but the truth is
that we as parents need to go to congress and fight for rights for these
children. Our daughter will get and aid in 10th grade and keep them until she is
21. That should get her through college. This is her right, but had my husband
and I not been very involved she may not receive these services. You can
apply for social security for your child as well. My husband makes too much, so
we don’t qualify. We also have a private tutor outside of school. You child is
never too young for that and if you qualify for Social Security that would
pay for that. Let me know haw it goes.

************************************** See what’s free at


Your son sounds very much like mine. I am so impressed with your early concern for your son. My son was just diagnosed at the age of six with mild dyslexia. It was not until after I read Overcoming Dyslexia that I saw all the early symptoms he had displayed. I was told and believed that we should just wait and see if he gets any better. Now I know this is the worst advice. Have him tested as soon as possible.

If you have not read Overcoming Dyslexia, I strongly recommend it. This book helped me so much to understand what my son was dealing with. I would be glad to share everything that we have been through so far. However, we are at the beginning of our journey. My son is only 7 now, but we did spend 3 months in a program were he excelled tremendously.

Thank you, I spent a ton of time with my kids and have no choice but to see
these things as they progress. My father died when I was 5 and my mother
did the best that she could do for me and my brothers but she did fall short
in some areas. education and opportunities was definately one of them. I
just want to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to ensure that
both of my kids have a fair shot at becoming successful out there, it is a
big world. =)

I have been looking for the book that you mentioned and have found several
with the same title. Do you know off the top of your head who the author
is? I am going to order it as soon as I know for sure.

I am glad that your son is showing progress. It is very positive news.

From what I am reading, it does appear that if you are aware and are ready
to take the extra steps that sufferers can lead productive and fulfilled

----- Original Message -----
From: “mlb”
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 10:22 PM
Subject: Re: [dyslexia] young children and dyslexia


There is an age issue regarding the diagnosis of some of the underlying causes of dyslexia, and other invisible disabilities.
The is called the age of maturation which is betwen the ages of 7 - 8 years old. Until the age of maturation children can grow out of some problems as part of their comparitive late development.
This said some of the underlying causes of dyslexia can be diagnosed earlier by very experienced diagnostic clinicians.

It is very important to identify all of a childs underlying causes of the dyslexic symptoms, this will help identify other issues related to each underlyiong cause, and the best support ptograms raltes to each underlying cause.

You do really need to find out waht causes your childs dyslexic symptoms as because some of the coping strategies of the differing underlying causes can conflict or even cause harm.

best wishes


Hi shawneebc

From what you have writen it would appear that Auditory Processing Disorder could be one of your sons underlying causes of his Dyslexic symptoms.

There are quite a few well researched Theories regarding Developmental dyslexia, and these have been very well outlined in a peer reviewed research paper by a research team investigating the merits of each Theory.
the Research paper can be found at

More information regarding Auditory Processing Disorder can be found at

best wishes


Pre-school and kindergarten warning signs

If three or more of these warning signs exist, especially if there is dyslexia or AD/HD in the family tree, the child should be tested for dyslexia when the child becomes five years old. Also, phonemic awareness games and other reading readiness activities should be done daily during the preschool years.

* delayed speech (not speaking any words by the child's first birthday. Often, they don't start talking until they are two, two-and-a-half, three, or even older.)
* mixing up sounds in multi-syllabic words (ex: aminal for animal, bisghetti for spaghetti, hekalopter for helicopter, hangaberg for hamburger, mazageen for magazine, etc.)
* early stuttering or cluttering
* lots of ear infections
* can't master tying shoes
* confusion over left versus right, over versus under, before versus after, and other directionality words and concepts
* late to establish a dominant hand
  May switch from right hand to left hand while coloring, writing, or doing any other task. Eventually, the child will usually establish a preferred hand, but it may not be until they are 7 or 8. Even then, they may use one hand for writing, but the other hand for sports.
* inability to correctly complete phonemic awareness task
* despite listening to stories that contain lots of rhyming words, such as Dr. Seuss, cannot tell you words that rhyme with cat or seat by the age of four-and-a-half
* difficulty learning the names of the letters or sounds in the alphabet; difficulty writing the alphabet in order
* Trouble correctly articulating R's and L's as well as M's and N's. They often have "immature" speech. They may still be saying "wed and gween" instead of "red and green" in second or third grade.

My Dyslexia was caught at 4 years old because of my unintelligible speech stemming from auditory reversals.



Trust your instincts. You should absolutely NOT wait until your child is seven to have him evaluated to see if he is at risk of developmental dyslexia. He can and should be evaluated now. You do not have to wait until he is reading, or failing to read. Because dyslexia is a language-based disorder, both a short screening and a longer full evaluation can occur even before he reads. Anyone who talks about a child of 5 years as not being “developmentally ready to read” is not familiar with the excellent scientific literature on reading and dyslexia from the National Reading Panel, medical schools at Yale, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and other responsible sources.

Early identification and intervention is key. Even though my child was properly evaluated at the relatively early age of 6, by then he had already failed at reading, had been inappropriately moved back mid-year from first grade to kindergarten (note that the literature says grade retention is NOT the answer for reading problems, and the National Association of School Psychologists even has a position paper against it, explaining why it is counterproductive), and had been told he had to change schools because the first school “couldn’t teach dyslexic children.” The good news is, others were able to teach my child, and - with intensive, research-based instruction in and out of the classroom - my child, now age 14, reads at the 99th percentile on standardized tests. Did I mention that, after 18 months of instruction, his new school also let him skip second grade to catch up with his age peers? That almost NEVER happens, and only happened in my child’s case because his private school was more informed and flexible than most schools, public or private.

When searching for a professional to evaluate your five-year-old, look first for a doctorate-level (Ph.D.) “school psychologist” in private practice. A “school psychologist” does not have to work for the public school system, although many do. A “school psychologist” is a psychologist whose practice deals with preschool and education issues. A comprehensive evaluation will take the better part of a day, with lunch and breaks so your child doesn’t become too tired.

In Jacksonville, Florida, we are fortunate to have a pioneering program called Nemours BrightStart! Dyslexia Initiative. A community outreach program of the Nemours Children’s [Medical] Clinic, the Initiative offers a FREE dyslexia screening to every 4-year-old in the community during the year BEFORE the child starts kindergarten. If the child is found to be at risk of developmental dyslexia, it also provides FREE phonemic awareness instruction in how sounds work, alone and together. Instruction in this important pre-reading skill, obtained privately, would cost anywhere from $50-75/hour, 2-3 times/week, and would not be reimbursed by most health insurance. This free service is only available to the 14,000 4-year-olds in Jacksonville, Florida. The goal is to ensure that dyslexic youth succeed in reading from the very beginning, and never know reading failure. For more information, Google the Initiative’s name and contact school psychologist Dr. Laura Bailet, executive director of the Initiative.

If you live where there is a Scottish Rites hospital or clinic, call it and ask where your child can be screened or evaluated NOW. If there is no Scottish Rites hospital or clinic, e-mail the International Dyslexia Association at and it will provide qualified referrals in your area.

Do your own research by reading responsible books, websites, and articles. When it comes to your child, it’s critical that YOU be educated about dyslexia, and that you not simply rely on someone else. Some who are not experts will say they are. Once you become educated, you will have a much better “feel” for who truly is an expert in the field. Use your common sense: a physician from Harvard or Yale is far more likely to be credible than is someone with no academic degree hawking a miracle cure for reading problems.

As for books and websites, consider:

“Overcoming Dyslexia,” by Yale pediatrician, professor of medicine, and neuroscientist Sally Shaywitz, M.D.
"Parenting a Struggling Reader," by Susan Hall, Ed.D., M.B.A., and Louisa Moats, Ed.D.
National Association of School Psychologists at
International Dyslexia Association at

In your research, focus on dyslexia websites with .gov (government), .edu (colleges/schools), and .org (non-profit organizations) in their URLs. Although some dyslexia websites with .com in their URL are reliable, others are not science-based and are simply trying to make money.

Attend state and local conferences of the IDA. The Florida branch is having its local conference at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel on Sunday, April 6, and Monday, April 7, 2008. As part of the conference, the IDA is offering a FREE dyslexia basics seminar for parents, teens with dyslexia, teachers, etc., by a school psychologist and a law professor who specializes in education law and who was a special education teacher for 10 years. For more info, see . If you are too far away to attend, do a Google search for other, similar free events.

Jordansmom - where do you live? - I’m going to move my son there. :slight_smile:

We just found out he’s dyslexic. We were always told he just had a learning disability. Regardless of all the help he has received, he is still falling behind. I had decided it was MUCH more than JUST a learning disability. I have had no luck with Jake’s school(s) - no on listened to my contribution or opinions - so far and am going to transfer him again hopefully something good will come of it. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to wait, he’s headed into 7th grade and way behind his peers. Currently trying to put together something to help him catch up, but it’s taking some time. I am praying that he is able to find a teacher like your daughter’s who has been there and knows what his struggle is.

on July 2, 2007, jordansmom wrote:
We put our daughter into a district that had better scores and went and
talked to the school before she attended there. The teacher they had picked for
her has a niece that has dyslexia and she has a IEP teacher that is dyslexic.
Her IEP teacher had the entire staff at this public school read Overcoming
Dyslexia. I had teachers that I had never met walk up to me and say things like
I think my child may be dyslexic or my student might be. There are studies
that up to 30% of the people in the world have some form of it.


Call or write the non-profit International Dyslexia Association at for recommendations in your area for evaluations and reading therapists who provide science-based reading intervention.

Or contact a board member for your state’s IDA branch (find that online) or a board member for CHADD and call or e-mail him or her for recommendations.

hey!! I’m sorry your worried about your son :frowning: it is really hard having dyslexia. Who told you that he was just going through a phase and it would get better? Coz thats not true… its bound to get harder as all the work gets harder and everyone else gets used to doing everything. Does he have any strengths? Like sport or art or something? Coz when he find work really hard you need to have something to keep him going and to make him feel better about himself. Try and make his learning as visual as poss and lots of fun- get a chart going or something so when he completes something he gets a gold star. That kinda stuff is great! :slight_smile: