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Common Signs of Dyslexia by Grade Level

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

What dyslexia looks like is often thought of as reading backwards. However, there are many more signs of dyslexia than people realize.

Dyslexia challenges how language is processed. Reading is one way we process language, but so to is spelling, speaking and writing. Signs for dyslexia can show up in all these areas.

It's also important to note, that not all people with dyslexia experience it the same way and it can change by grade level.

While there is no cure for dyslexia, proper supports from trained professionals can help them thrive. For more information on how we help dyslexic readers, contact our Certified Reading Interventionist to learn more about how we provide online reading tutoring for dyslexia.

Common signs: Preschool


  • Struggling to recognize and name letters and sounds

  • Difficulty with rhyming

  • Struggling to remember facts

  • Difficulties with hearing and blending sounds

  • Talks later than other children

  • Difficulty recognizing sight words

  • Trouble recognizing rhymes and words used in songs or nursery rhymes

  • Unable to follow directions or daily routines

  • Difficulty learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes

  • Difficulty interacting with others their age

  • Can't retell a story in the correct order or understand the meaning of stories

These signs can be harder to identify in younger children, as they are still developing their language skills. If you notice any of these red flags in your child and are unsure about whether or not you should be concerned, reach out to a Reading Interventionist who can support you. We offer reading assessments at Smart Start Tutors, that can give you valuable insight into your child's current reading skills and can pinpoint any areas of concern.

Common signs: K-6


Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with reading skills, rhyming, blending sounds, recognizing sight words, and rhymes. They can have difficulty interacting with their peers and difficulty with daily routines can also be observed.

First Grade:

Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with spelling, writing, reading comprehension, and understanding math facts. They may also have difficulty with telling time, telling stories, and understanding analogies.

Second Grade:

Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with reading fluency, writing stories, understanding grammar, and understanding math concepts. They may also have difficulty with understanding directions, remembering facts, and organizing information. Difficulty recalling the right words can also be a challenge.

Third Grade:

Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with understanding stories and information presented verbally. They may also have difficulty with sequencing, memorizing facts, and understanding the relationships between words and meaning of words.

Fourth Grade:

Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with understanding the main ideas of stories. They may struggle with cause and effect, and understanding the sequence of events. Difficulties with summarizing, determining the author's purpose, and understanding figurative language can also be observed.

Fifth Grade:

Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with understanding long and complex words, as well as with spelling and decoding multi-syllabic words accurately. They may also have difficulty with comprehension of longer texts, understanding analogies, and summarizing text.

Sixth Grade:

Children with dyslexia may have difficulty with understanding abstract language, recognizing the main idea in a text, and using context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. They may also have difficulty with understanding the tone and mood of a text, and understanding figurative language.

Dyslexia Tutoring Online

Our online tutoring sessions for students with dyslexia are Orton-Gillingham based and tailored to each individual student. With our online tutoring program, your child will receive the personalized attention and support they need to succeed.

We will work with your child to help them learn and understand the material at their own pace and in ways that work best for them by taking into consideration their learning style and interests.

Our staff has experience working with students of all ages who struggle with reading. Our online tutoring sessions are designed to make learning effective and fun, allowing your child to reach their maximum potential.

We believe every student has the ability to succeed. We have over 20 years of combined experience teaching students with dyslexia and supporting a wide-range of learning abilities including ADD, ADHD, emerging readers, and developing readers.

Each child receives individualized reading intervention plans with resources from the top online reading programs for struggling readers. Every tutor is dedicated to closing the reading gap while helping your child gain confidence and a love for reading.

If you would like to learn more about your child's learning abilities and how we can support them, get started for free with a discovery call.

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