The Early Signs: Ages 3-5 Years

Pupil’s Name: _____________________________

Date: _____________


The Early Signs: Ages 3-5 Years.

The presence of a number of these characteristics may indicate that the child is at risk of developing dyslexic learning difficulties. When considering these characteristics, it is important to remain mindful of the following:

a.      No child will have all these characteristics.

b.      Some characteristics are more common than others.

c.      All children will have some of these characteristics to some degree.

d.      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: delays, disorders, and deviations

1.      ___Is later than most children in learning to speak

2.      ___Has difficulty pronouncing some, especially multi-syllabic, words

3.      ___Has difficulty separating spoken words into sounds and blending  spoken sounds to make words (i.e., has difficulty with phonological awareness)

4.      ___Experiences auditory discrimination problems (i.e. confuses some language sounds, e.g. /f/ and /v/, fan and van)

5.      ___Is prone to spoonerisms (e.g. chish and fips for fish and chips)

6.      ___Has difficulty with rhyming

7.      ___Is unable to recall the right word

8.      ___Is slow to add new vocabulary

9.      ___May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence

Early Literacy: difficulties with the early skills of reading, writing and spelling

1.      ___Exhibits delays in acquiring emergent literacy skills (e.g., understanding that written language progresses from left to right, discriminating between letters, words and sentences)

2.      ___Experiences problems learning the alphabet

3.      ___Has trouble learning to write and spell his/her own name

Memory: difficulty in remembering information and instructions

1.      ___Has trouble learning numbers, days of the week, colours and shapes

2.      ___Is unable to follow multi-step directions or routines


Motor coordination: difficulty coordinating eye and hand

1.      ___Has difficulty maintaining rhythm

2.      ___Is developing fine motor skills more slowly than other children