The Early Primary School Signs: Ages 5-7 Years

Pupil’s Name: _________________________________ 

Date: _____________


The Early Primary School Signs: Ages 5-7 Years.

If a pupil, between 5-7 years of age, displays any of the following characteristics, the teacher should intervene. The presence of a number of these characteristics or those on the previous checklist for 3-5 year olds may indicate that the child is developing dyslexic learning difficulties. When considering these characteristics, it is important to remain mindful of the following:

  1. No child will have all these characteristics.
  2. Some characteristics are more common than others.
  3. All children will have some of these characteristics to some degree.
  4. The number of symptoms seen in a particular child does not give an indication as to whether the dyslexia is mild or severe. It is important to consider if the behaviours are chronic and appear in clusters

Speaking and Listening:

1.      ___Has difficulty separating words into sounds, and blending sounds to form words (phonemic awareness)

2.      ___Has difficulty repeating multi-syllabic words (e.g., emeny for enemy; pasghetti for spaghetti)

Early Literacy: difficulties with reading, writing and spelling

1.      ___Is slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds (alphabetic principle)

2.      ___Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)

3.      ___Has poor word attack skills, especially for new words

4.      ___Confuses small or ‘easy’ words: at/to; said/and; does/goes)

5.      ___May make constant reading and spelling errors including:

-          Letter reversals (e.g., d for b as in dog for bog

-          Letter inversions (e.g., m for w)

-          Letter transpositions (e.g.,  felt and left)

-          Word reversals (e.g., tip for pit)

-          Word substitutions – house for home

6.      ___Reads slowly with little expression or fluency (oral reading is slow and laborious)

7.      ___Has more difficulty with function words (e.g., is, to, of) than with content words (e.g., cloud, run, yellow)

8.      ___Has difficulty building up a sight vocabulary

9.      ___Reading comprehension is below expectation due to poor accuracy, fluency and speed

10. ___Reading comprehension is better than single-word reading

11. ___Listening comprehension is better than reading comprehension

Arithmetic: difficulty in performing arithmetic operations or in understanding basic concepts

1.      ___Has trouble learning facts (e.g. tables)

Reasoning: difficulty in organising and integrating thoughts

1.      ___May be slow to learn new skills, relying heavily on memorising without understanding

2.      ___Has difficulty planning or organising

3.      ___Has trouble learning to tell the time with an analogue clock or watch

Motor coordination: difficulty coordinating eye and hand

1.      ___Uses awkward pencil grip

2.      ___Has slow and poor quality handwriting

3.      ___Has poor fine motor co-ordination