Identifying Dyslexia

The following checklist serves as a guideline to identify children in preschool to kindergarten who might be at risk for reading disabilities.

Sound awareness

  • Lack of sensitivity to rhyme: does not show an interest in word play or nursery rhymes
  • Has difficulty identifying (clapping or counting) syllables in spoken words: (sun-shine, hos-pit-al)
  • Has difficulty recognising words that begin or end with the same sound (man-mop)

Speech production

  • Confuses similar sounding words: cheese/keys-thin/fin
  • May have difficulty saying multi-syllabic words with varied sound patterns (animal, spaghetti)
  • May have speech articulation issues (th/f)

Language comprehension

  • Lacks understanding of concepts involving space or time (front/back, before/after)
  • Frequently requests repetition of directions
  • Has difficulty drawing conclusions and predicting outcomes

Language expression

  • Makes grammatical errors (“we goed to the store”)
  • Tells a story in a disorganized fashion (lacks a clear beginning, middle, and end)
  • May use words such as “stuff” or “thing” in place of a specific word


  • Has difficulty learning sequences (days of the week)
  • Responds to only a part of a direction
  • Inconsistently remembers names
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