Dyslexic Characteristics

Dyslexics have many strengths that often exceed those of the non dyslexic, and that gift often allows them to excel in their field, but the price for that ability are the associated problems of being dyslexic.

Dyslexic problems can be grouped into five broad areas:

  1. Mixing up similar linked items, e.g.: letters such as “b” and “d”; words such as “was” and “saw”; directions such as “left” and “right”; or anything that can be roughly paired together.
  2. Problems with linear sequences. Anything which runs in a linear sequence can cause problems, e.g.: the alphabet; times tables; sentences; lists of instructions; etc.
  3. Problems with short term memory. Dyslexics often have severe short term memory problems and struggle to retain information without significant reinforcement.
  4. Coordination problems. Dyslexics can sometimes suffer from physical issues such as clumsiness, problems with word pronunciation etc. On its own this is known as dyspraxia.
  5. Readingand writing problems. The above four areas all combine to cause problems with literacy. However, because we live in such a literate society this can cause such a major impact that it can be considered a fifth area of difficulty.

Some common characteristics that can indicate dyslexia include:

  • Skill levels lower than individual’s intellect.
  • Inconsistent IQ tests.
  • Language processing difficulties
  • Poor oral reading skills.
  • Poor reading comprehension.
  • Inconsistent listening comprehension.
  • Literal interpretation of language.
  • Auditory perceptual differences
  • Difficulty remembering directions.
  • Poor spelling skills
  • Visual perception differences
  • Poor copying, handwriting.
  • Poor eye-hand co-ordination.
  • Attention/concentration deficits
  • Organisational problems
  • Time management problems

No single dyslexic will have all of these difficulties but will often have a number of them.

One of the problems of characterising dyslexia is that the experience of each dyslexic is different and two people can have completely different indicators of dyslexia. Thus, assistance that helps one dyslexic, may not help another