Recognising Dyslexia in preschool children

The following indicators may suggest that your child has dyslexia. However, a number of young children will display these behaviours and without dyslexia being the cause. It is the severity of the behaviour and the length of time it persists which give important clues to identifying a learning difference such as dyslexia.


  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes
  • Difficulty paying attention, sitting still, listening to stories
  • Likes listening to stories but shows no interest in letters or words
  • Difficulty learning to sing or recite the alphabet
  • A history of slow speech development
  • Muddles words e.g. cubumber, flutterby
  • Difficulty keeping simple rhythm
  • Finds it hard to carry out two or more instructions at one time, (e.g. put the toys in the box, then put it on the shelf) but is fine if tasks are presented in smaller units
  • Forgets names of friends, teacher, colours etc.
  • Poor auditory discrimination
  • Difficulty cutting, sticking and crayoning in comparison with their peer group
  • Difficulty in dressing, e.g. finds shoelaces and buttons difficult
  • Difficulty with catching, kicking or throwing a ball
  • Often trips, bumps into things and falls over
  • Difficulty hopping or skipping
  • Obvious ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days for no apparent reason

Next steps

Research has found that speech and language difficulties in early childhood can lead to later literacy problems. Therefore it is imperative that any potential speech and language problems are identified as early as possible so that more can be done before to help the child develop their language skills, before they start school.

If you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language development, speak to your GP or health visitor. If you believe your child may be dyslexic, discuss your concerns with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in your child’s early years setting. The sooner appropriate can be given to your child, the less chance of losing confidence and developing low self-esteem. A child can only be diagnosed with dyslexia through a Diagnostic Assessment but these are usually only carried out from 7 years old.


If you have any concerns then please call [(01986) 788011] or email me – zoeb@mancroftlearning.co.uk

For more information, advice and support, come join our Facebook Community – Raising Confident Dyslexic Children


Author: Zoë Brown

I am a dyslexia specialist, qualified in assessing dyslexia and literacy related difficulties as well as tutoring dyslexic children and those who need additional literacy support. Having been diagnosed as dyslexic at an early age, I have a personal understanding of both the challenges and advantages that dyslexia brings. I feel strongly that when given the right support and positive encouragement, dyslexic people of all ages can excel in confidence and academic attainment.

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