Early Signs of Dyslexia

Children with dyslexia have difficulty with the sound system of language.

As young children, they struggle with phonological awareness, including skills such as rhyming, clapping syllables, or sequencing of sounds, which are fundamental to literacy acquisition. In addition, children may have difficulty remembering and retrieving information, understanding what is said to them, and expressing themselves. Research demonstrates that all of these skills are critical for the more complicated processes of reading and writing. 

Dyslexia is not something that a child will outgrow.  If a parent has dyslexia, the chances are 35-40% that his/her child will be dyslexic.

One of the most common misconceptions about dyslexia is that it is a simple matter of reading words "backwards." Instead, it refers to differences in the brain that result in language learning difficulties associated with auditory skills. 

A breakdown in these auditory skills can be observed in very young children when they struggle to recognize and create rhyming words, to identify the number of sounds in a word, and to blend sounds together to form words. For some students, the reading process is further complicated by visual processing and perceptual deficits.


The Odyssey School offers free screening for early language and literacy skills and signs of reading difficulty.

If your child demonstrates difficulty with acquiring reading and literacy skills and shows early signs of reading difficulty, please set up an appointment for screening.


The following checklist serves as a guideline to identify children in preschool to kindergarten who might be at risk for reading disabilities.


Lack of sensitivity to rhyme: does not show an interest in word play or nursery rhymes
Has difficulty clapping/counting syllables in spoken words: (snow-man; kin-der-gar-ten)
Has difficulty recognizing words that begin with the same sound (man-mop)


Confuses similar sounding words: cheese/keys
May have difficulty saying multi-syllabic words with varied sound patterns (animal, spaghetti)
May have speech articulation issues


Lacks understanding of concepts involving space or time (front/back, before/after)
Frequently requests repetition of directions
Has difficulty drawing conclusions and predicting outcomes


Makes grammatical errors (“we goed to the store”)
Tells a story in a disorganized fashion (lacks a clear beginning, middle, and end)
May use words such as “stuff” or “thing” in place of a specific word


Has difficulty learning sequences (days of the week)
Responds to only a part of a direction
Inconsistently remembers names