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How Do I Know If I Have Dyslexia?

Published: March 09, 2015
Dear How Do I Know If I Have Dyslexia?,

I think I might have dyslexia. How would I know for sure?

Dear How Do I Know If I Have Dyslexia?,

Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read, spell, write and/or pronounce words. Signs and symptoms associated with dyslexia can include:

  • Accidentally reversing numbers or letters

  • Difficulty learning words and how they sound

  • Trouble memorizing number facts like multiplication tables and phone numbers

  • Reading slowly, especially when out loud

  • Difficulty finishing tests and assignments within time limits

  • Trouble spelling or writing

  • Difficulty learning a foreign language

  • Trouble remembering the right names for things

  • Difficulty copying notes from the chalkboard or a book

  • Trouble playing sports

  • Confusing left and right

  • Depression and feeling unmotivated in school or other activities

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, speak to your parents about it. It would be helpful for you to meet with your primary care physician so that he/she can rule out any medical issues. If there are no medical issues present, then you to meet with your school psychologist or some other reputable professional who specializes in dyslexia testing so that you can be properly assessed for dyslexia.

If you are dyslexic, you would benefit from meeting with an academic tutor who specializes in working with people with dyslexia. Your school would also put in any needed accommodations when it comes to testing and other assignments.  People who have difficulties in school (for whatever reason) can end up feeling sad or can have low self-esteem. If you are having any emotional difficulties related to the symptoms you are experiencing, talk to a trusted adult about it such as a parent, school counselor, or private therapist.

For more information, you can read the Mayo Clinic article on Dyslexia.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.