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Dyslexia

Dyslexia: What You’re Seeing in Your High-Schooler

By Emily Lapkin

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Some teenagers who seem awkward or unmotivated may actually be struggling with dyslexia. It can affect a wide variety of skills, from reading to understanding puns or driving a car. Here are some of the warning signs.

415Found this helpful
Dyslexia: What You’re Seeing in Your High-Schooler

Do these situations describe your teen? Keep track of what you’re seeing and talk to him about it. Together you can figure out next steps—including talking to teachers or your teen’s doctor.

Doesn’t Get the Joke
At home: Your teenager needs someone to explain punch lines, especially those that use puns or that have hidden meanings.

At school: Your teenager has trouble understanding proverbs, puns and idioms.

The issue: Dyslexia affects the ability to process all kinds of language. This makes understanding humor and other nonliteral language particularly tricky.

Has Trouble Expressing Ideas
At home: Your teenager stammers and can’t seem to find the right word.

At school: Your teenager has difficulty sharing what he knows, supporting an argument or getting to the point.

The issue: Dyslexia affects the ability to find the right words, develop ideas and communicate them in a logical, organized way.

Lacks a Sense of Direction
At home: Your teenager still confuses left and right.

At school: Your teenager has trouble reading charts and graphs.

The issue: Kids with dyslexia often struggle with spatial concepts and related activities such as driving and navigation.

Struggles to Learn a Foreign Language
At home: Your teenager dreads the school’s foreign language requirement and feels doomed by it.

At school: Your teenager guesses at the meaning of foreign words and their pronunciation.

The issue: The same issues that make it hard for kids with dyslexia to read and write in their native language make it even harder to understand a foreign language.
Graphic of Dyslexia: What you're seeing in your high-schooler
Graphic of Dyslexia: What you're seeing in your high-schooler

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Emily Lapkin

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Reviewed by Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D. Feb 12, 2014 Feb 12, 2014

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