Early signs of Dyslexia

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Thursday 12 August 2021 7:20

SOME of the most common dyslexic symptoms for children under five years old are: difficulty learning nursery rhymes, slow speech development, trouble learning the alphabet and the inability to follow multiple instructions, E.g. put the crayons in their box and put the box away.

The general signs for primary school children are slow-paced reading, which includes difficulty sounding out words and an inability to understand what they have just read.

Their written work may be untidy and include reversed letters such as b/d and p/q. They may also have poor concentration levels. It is important to approach your doctor or child's teacher if you have any concerns, as early intervention is vital.

Do Not Fear

The most important message to convey in this week's column is not to panic if you feel your child may or indeed has dyslexia. Another couple of famous people with dyslexia are Maggie Aderin - Pocock (astronomer) and Steven Spielberg. Although dyslexia can create barriers in learning, these people have proved that it can be overcome.

Learning Tips for Children with Dyslexia

Children with dyslexia may lack organisational skills, so it is crucial to establish a homework routine. If your child finds it difficult to concentrate for long periods, try breaking homework up into small manageable parts with breaks in-between. Most children with dyslexia have limited confidence when it comes to schoolwork. They may display extreme anxiety towards most subjects as the ability to read is required throughout school. As a result, it is essential to help grow confidence by giving lots of praise for even the slightest improvement or effort.

Multi-Sensory Approach

A multi-sensory approach means including multiple senses such as kinesthetic (touch), visual (sight) and auditory (sound) with regards to learning. I will now discuss some of the best techniques that I employ when helping my pupils with dyslexia. Kinesthetic learning is where learning takes place by doing physical activities. A spelling activity could involve writing words in sand using children's fingers or writing the words with chalk outside. Another fun kinesthetic activity involves writing spellings on lego bricks, jumbling them up and then asking your child to arrange them in the correct order.

Visual learning is a learning style in which children do best by seeing. For children with dyslexia, this could range from using images, colour-coded words and watching videos. The use of images could include writing a word such as bed and drawing an actual bed around the word. Colour coding syllables or phonic sounds also work well. For example, af-ter-noon could be broken up and colour coded. There are numerous videos online that could be used to support focus words/sounds.

Auditory learners do best by hearing. Auditory based tasks for children with dyslexia could include listening to phonics/spelling songs in the car on the way to school. You could even go one step better and make up your own songs! Additionally, try reading spellings out loud and ask if the target sound is in the beginning, middle or end of a word—for example, phone, elephant and graph.

These are just a handful of appropriate multi-sensory activities, and there is an abundance of others to suit children with dyslexia. If you would like some additional advice, please let me know. The best thing is to try a few different tasks and see what works best for your child.

Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub

We are now halfway through Education Support Hub's summer sessions! The response from parents and children has been excellent. Although children must get a break over the summer, it is equally important that they do a small amount of academic work to maintain their progress, fill any learning gaps, and get a head start on the next school year.

Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL and AQE Transfer Test preparation.

I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our amazing reviews on Facebook and Google.

Daniel Guiney

Education Support Hub Founder




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