The Signs of Dyslexia: Recognising Dyslexia

Simple to spot signs of dyslexia

What are the most common indicators of dyslexia?

The problem is, dyslexia is not the same for everyone. 60-75% of dyslexics have phonological processing problems, that is, difficulties translating the written word into sounds. But not everybody with dyslexia struggles with reading!

The Tri-Partite Challenges of Dyslexia

There are also many different forms of dyslexia. These are all related, but share one thing: society defines them by what a person cannot do.

Below are the most common signs of dyslexia. They are broken down into “positives” and “negatives”.


Often, above-average intelligence.

Written output does not match intelligence.

Visual learner / visual thinker.

Excellent entrepreneurial talents. A disposition to ‘go it alone’.

High spatial and mathematical intelligence, occasionally contrasting with a difficulty with numbers.

High logical intelligence. Good logic skills.

High literary ability.

Excellent artistic ability.

Creative/ imaginative ability.

Non-linear thinking.

A ‘good eye’, for instance in photography.

High emotional intelligence.

Focus, motivation and tenacity.

High levels of curiosity.

Excellent problem-representation abilities.

Good problem-solving skills.

3D visual-spatial skills.

Holistic thinking/ ‘big picture’ and conceptual thinking. Ability to see connections between concepts (even when individual facts are tricky).

Structural thinker.

Good team-working skills.

Communication skills.

Good mechanical skills.

Excellent teaching abilities; often due to understanding concepts in-depth.

Often, language acquisition comes early.


Unwillingness to deal with paperwork.

Slow reading speed. Unwillingness to read. Reading-related stress. Exhaustion upon reading.

Difficulties with administration forms.

Frustration. Feelings of being an ‘intelligent’ person trapped inside an unresponsive brain.

Difficulties with organisation/ timekeeping.

Problems keeping the right dates for appointments.

Confusion over directionality: left and right; map and direction following; often a dyslexic will lose his/ her way; difficulties giving accurate directions.

Writing and/ numeric problems: letters become inverted, transposed, omitted or included incorrectly, or written-over; words are mis-spelt even when copied; words become ‘split’ or two words become merged into one; spacing between words and letters is often uneven; messy handwriting. “Consistent inconsistencies”.

Confusion over timetables.

Problems memorising apparently disconnected facts.


Sequencing problems.

Either or both – difficulties reading/copying numbers; difficulties with arithmetic.

Low self-esteem.

Executive Function difficulties.

And how can we work with this?