Dyslexia in preschool: 4 signs you might see

Even before kids start reading, you may be able to spot signs of dyslexia. That’s because dyslexia can affect language skills that are the building blocks for reading. Here’s what you might see in preschool-age kids.

1. Speaking like a younger child

Delayed language development is often one of the first signs of dyslexia. Your child may mispronounce a lot of words, like saying “aminal” instead of “animal.” At school, your child may not talk as much or may not know as many words as other kids do.

2. Calling things by the wrong name

Dyslexia affects the way the brain processes language, including trouble coming up with the right word. Your child may hand you a spoon when you ask for a fork. At school, your child may struggle with learning and naming numbers, colors, and the letters of the alphabet.

3. Trouble rhyming

Your child may have trouble filling in the rhyming word in nursery rhymes (like “One Two, Buckle My ____”) and may have even more trouble making up new rhymes. At school, your child may not recognize rhyming words like dog, log, and hog.

4. Not following directions

Kids with dyslexia often have trouble following directions that have multiple steps. They may only “hear” the first or last few words. You may ask your child to put on shoes and a jacket, but your child only gets a jacket. At school, your child might need to be reminded a lot about classroom rules and routines.

About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.