Dyslexia in middle school: 4 signs you might see

ByThe Understood Team

It’s not uncommon to start noticing signs of dyslexia in middle school. Workloads increase, which makes it hard for kids to hide their trouble with reading. Here’s what dyslexia can look like in middle school.

1. Reading very slowly

Sounding out or decoding words is really hard with dyslexia. And this can slow down the reading process. Your child may take a very long time to finish homework that involves reading. At school, your child may escape to the bathroom to avoid reading out loud in class. (See more reasons kids might read slowly.)

2. Trouble finding the right word to say

Dyslexia can make it hard to find the right word or to pronounce it correctly. Your child may stammer and say “um” and other filler words a lot. At school, your child may use a word that sounds similar to the right word but has a different meaning (like saying “distinct” instead of “extinct”).

3. Struggling with writing assignments

Dyslexia can affect spelling, which can make it hard for kids to proofread their own work. Your child may spell the same word differently in the same essay. Or your child may have trouble sharing ideas in an organized way and with the right spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

4. Struggling to fit in

Dyslexia affects communication in lots of ways, including social skills. Your child may not pick up on body language or learn from social blunders. At school, your child may struggle to “fit in” or work in groups.

Tell us what interests you


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.