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Dyslexia and Reading Problems

dyslexia185Dyslexia is a complex language problem. It involves not being able to break down a word into the sounds that make it up, as well as not being able to think or write about the sounds in a word. Research from the National Institutes of Health has shown that dyslexia affects 5–10 percent of the U.S. population, with estimates as high as 17 percent.

What are the warning signs that your child may have a reading problem?


  • Can’t tell the difference between letters and squiggles
  • Can’t recognize own name
  • Only says a small number of words
  • Doesn’t like rhyming games and can’t fill in the rhyming word in familiar nursery rhymes
  • Has difficult pronouncing words (may confuse words that sound alike)


  • Can’t tell the difference between the sounds that make up a word (phonics)
  • Slow to name familiar objects and colors
  • Can’t remember the names and sounds of the letters
  • By the end of kindergarten, can’t write most of the consonant sounds in a word (it’s normal for vowels to be missing until later)

1st and 2nd grades:

  • Has trouble pronouncing new words and remembering them
  • Has trouble blending sounds together to say words
  • Says reading is easier for classmates
  • Falls way behind classmates
  • Can’t figure out unknown words
  • Avoids reading
  • Resists reading aloud

2nd and 3rd grades:

  • Starts to withdraw
  • Has some troubling behavior
  • Seems to guess at unknown words
  • Does not get meaning from reading

Identifying dyslexia early on can get your child the necessary help he or she needs to reach his or her fullest potential.

Excerpted from Dyslexia and Reading Problems in the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Parenting Guides and Resources. See the full article for suggested reading and additional resources.

Source: C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital | Dyslexia and Reading Problems, | © Copyright 1995-2018 Regents of the University of Michigan