Around 10% of the population are believed to be dyslexic. Dyslexia affects how the brain interprets information it sees and hears.  It can make it harder for your child to process and remember things, which can then affect their  reading and writing skills.  Dyslexia can also affect other areas such as communication skills, relationship forming, co-ordination, self-esteem, and your child’s confidence. However, with the right support, the strengths and talents of dyslexic people can really shine. 

As a parent or carer it is important to understand that dyslexia is and how it can affect your child.  The British Dyslexia Association has several checklists and advice on where to find this information. 

Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is regularly picked up on during primary school, yet formal diagnosis is difficult in young children as they often develop their own ways of working things out. 

Most people think that dyslexia affect just reading and writing, but there are many areas that can be affected such as coordination, organisation, and memory. 

In Early Years education, the indicators that are often identified are:

  • Difficulties learning nursery songs
  • Inability to sit still and listen to stories
  • Muddling words
  • Difficulty reciting the alphabet

In Primary School, children develop in some areas but are develop less in others. Features suggesting dyslexia at this age include difficulties with the following:

  • Processing written and/or spoken language
  • Difficulties following multi-part instructions
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusing letters – b for d and p for g, for example
  • under developed handwriting skill
  • Slow reading progress
  • Difficulties in blending letters together
  • Avoiding school work
  • Excessively tired due to amount of concentration and effort needed for school.

In Secondary school, in addition to the indicators above, young people with dyslexia may display the following:

  • Underdeveloped writing standard
  • Written work that is disorganised, lacking coherence, and with multiple spelling and grammatical errors
  • “Loses the thread” when writing long pieces of work
  • Knows more about a subject, or has more developed ideas than they can write on paper
  • Hesitant when reading, particularly aloud
  • Loses their place easily when reading
  • Misreading questions
  • Confusing left and right directions
  • Disorganised and/or forgetful

If you think that your child might have dyslexia, the first thing you should do is speak to their teacher or the school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) to discuss your concerns. For more information, click here.


The SENCo may decide to carry out screening tests or checklists to find out more about your child's areas of strength and difficulties are in order to see how best they can be supported in the classroom. This support is called Special Educational Needs Support. Making a formal diagnosis of dyslexia can take some time because it can only be made through a diagnostic assessment carried out by a certified dyslexia assessor. However, a school doesn't need a formal diagnosis to put support in place for your child and shouldn't delay in providing appropriate support and/or interventions. 

There are several tools available through the British Dyslexia Association about how you can support your child during this process which are available here. For information about your local dyslexia association, click here.


NHS Conditions - Dyslexia

British Dyslexia Association

The Dyslexia Association

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