Help For Anyone With Dyslexic

Students with dyslexia may have difficulty with reading, writing, spelling or expressive language in varying degrees. They may have difficulty expressing themselves in writing, but not when speaking. Some common symptoms include:

  • Confuses letters or sounds, as in p for q, b for d and saw for was, off for of.

  • Difficulty knowing the sounds that letters make and sequencing and blending those sounds.
    /b/ /a/ /t/

  • Difficulty hearing the syllables in words and the individual sounds in those syllables.
    (I lick ise crème, speshully chalcklit.)

  • Difficulty visualizing the correct spelling.

  • Doesn’t seem to understand sentence structure or spelling rules.

  • Sometimes confuses words, especially time and directional words.
    (Tomorrow I went to the movies,…no I mean yesterday…)

  • Difficulty writing the alphabet in sequence.

  • Errors in naming letters

The following characteristics MAY be associated with dyslexia:

  • Delay in spoken language

  • Late establishment of preferred hand for writing

  • Late learning of directionality- right and left and other directionality

  • Problems sequencing or learning concept of time

  • Family history of similar problems

Some common trends or typical behaviors:
(May or may not be present- varies among individuals)

  • Inconsistent grades from day to day

  • Confusion with math symbols, but not computation

  • Memorized spelling better than spontaneous spelling

  • Homework is better quality that classwork

  • Deteriorating organization and study habits

  • Poor self esteem

  • Chooses oral performance over written assignments

  • Compensates by using pictures or instructor’s cues

  • Uneven pencil pressure and awkward grip

  • Short attention span

  • Poor motivation from lack of success

  • Anxiety over schoolwork

  • Frustration level high

  • Overcompensation through pseudo-confidence

The difficulty with reading, writing, spelling and sometimes with oral language is unexpected in relation to their intelligence and educational experiences. These students are often very bright and capable in many areas. They may be viewed as lazy or unmotivated, but they do not seem to be able to learn to read, write and spell using traditional teaching methods. For many dyslexic people, not being able to learn to read decreases their feelings of self worth and they often feel disabled. This is unfortunate and clearly untrue!

It is important to note that dyslexia doesn’t inhibit individuals with educational and emotional support. There are many success stories of some determined individuals. See Talents of Dyslexia page and famous people with dyslexia below.

Famous People with dyslexia:

  • Athletes - Muhammad Ali, Bruce Jenner, Magic Johnson, Nolan Ryan

  • Politicians - Nelson Rockefeller, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, George Washington, General George Patton

  • Actors and entertainers - Cher, Whoopie Goldberg, Jay Leno, John Lennon, Harrison Ford, Henry Winkler, Fred Astaire, Harry Belafonte.

  • Artists - Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo

  • Business Leaders and inventors - Henry Ford, Charles Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, Bill Hewlett, Thomas Edison

  • Writers - Stephan Cannell, John Grisham, John Irving, Wendy Wasserstein, Erin Brokovich

What is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia can exist by itself but is more typically seen with other learning problems related to language such as dyslexia.

Dysgraphia is difficulty with writing letters and numbers. It is neurologically based and exists in varying degrees from mild to severe. Writing requires inordinate amounts of energy, stamina and time for these individuals. They often have inconsistent letter formations and resort to a mixture of lowercase and upper case letters, mixing cursive and manuscript styles.

Dysgraphia can interfere with a student’s ability to express ideas. This affects their classroom work, homework and eventually manifests itself in lowered self-esteem. The emotional factors arising from dysgraphia compound the problem and add to the frustration of the student, the parents and the teachers. This is especially true of the bright linguistically gifted child who hits a wall when dealing with written expression. Since these students have difficulty translating their thoughts and ideas on paper, teachers are often unaware of what the student does know.

Teachers and parents may be aware that something is different by observing the child’s handwriting. It is unfortunate that in too many instances the child is labeled lazy, unmotivated or careless. It is important to realize that while there may be some truth to these allocations, the underlying problem is dysgraphia and is not in the student’s control. Some symptoms to keep in mind are:

  • Inappropriate pencil grip

  • Inappropriate body, arm and paper positions

  • Many erasures

  • Irregular sized letters and slant

  • Mixing upper and lowercase letters

  • Unfinished letters

  • Overall illegibility

  • Slower speed of writing

  • Slower speed in copying

  • Fatigue after writing

  • Poor organization on a page

Dysgraphia can be diagnosed and it can be worked with and remediated if strict programs of strategies are practiced on a daily basis. Training the muscles and overlearning are critical in remediation. It is work, but it is worth it!

What can teachers and parents do?

  • Understand the problem and the inconsistencies

  • Allow the student to print or use cursive, whatever is most comfortable

  • Allow extra time on written work or exams

  • Encourage the use of a computer or word processor- there are new programs available.
    (See assistive technologies under links)

  • Encourage the use of proofreading and spell check

  • In some cases, shorten writing assignments

  • Be patient and encourage the student to be patient with him or herself.

  • Reinforce the positive!

You can read more about dyslexia, characteristics of dyslexia, and how to remediate dyslexia in our user friendly 20 page booklet, entitled, “Ten in Every Hundred.” Go to Shop SWIDA page and order a few copies. You will want more than one copy

Comment from an Academic Language Therapist: “I grabbed the booklet on my way to an IEP meeting at a middle school. It was invaluable in helping the staff at the school understand dyslexia. I simply read from the booklet and cited examples.

Comment from a parent of a dyslexic student: "Wow, this is good. Can I get a couple copies to give to my school? They don’t know this."

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Included here are links to articles, our lending library, websites, helpful books, and FAQ's. There is a great deal of information available today. We want to provide an assortment of the BEST information in keeping with our mission and goals.

The International Dyslexia Association supports efforts to provide dyslexic individuals with appropriate instruction and to identify these individuals at an early age. The Association believes that Multisensory teaching and learning is the best approach currently available for those affected by dyslexia.

The Association, however, does not endorse any specific program, speaker or instructional materials, noting that there are a number of such which present the critical components of instruction as defined by the Task Force on Multisensory teaching which works under the guidance of the Association's Teacher Education Issues Committee.

Please click on the articles below for additional information. Let us know if you found anything valuable. E-mail us at:

For Parents:

Homework Hints for Parents

Parenting a Child with LD

Straight Talk About Reading (excerpt)


Preparing Students with Dyslexia and Other Specific learning Disabilities for Participation in High Stakes assesments


Teaching Study Skills and Learning Strategies to Therapists, Teachers, and Tutors


What Does It Take To Read a Letter

More articles coming soon for:
Parents, Professionals, Students, and Teachers

About Us | What is Dyslexia | Events | Membership | Resources | Shop SWIDA | Contact Us | Home

3915 Carlisle Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87107.
(505) 255-8234 • Email:

lunnas lunnas
41-45, F
5 Responses Jul 9, 2011

oh thats another thing my teachers had me holding my paper side ways almost upside down to write it drove me nuts it didnt help me learn to write . and if i had to write on paper with out lines my writting looked like a song it was up it was down it was big and small . it went up hill down hill<br />
it merged with outher words it was bad . to this day i havent mastered writting wiht out lines . i had so much toruble in school . and i hated my 4th grade teacher she tought us speach sounds and stuff i couldnt get the nouns sounding out if it was the word sents i couldnt get it right . i had so much trouble with words like to ,too ,two, tin, ten, and forget learning how to read decimals hundreds ,tens, and all that in math . i cant if you write me a check i cant tell you the mount after a serton amount if the moneys not written out like one hurdred and twentycents . i have problems counting change or just counting money . so this effects me in if i have a job i cant get jobs being a waiter , any thing having to count out money i have trouble giving back change even if its writtin out on the cash maching . this dyxlica has stopped me in getting alot of jobs becalse of my dyxlica<br />
one job i had my boss was cheating me out of my pay checks and i didnt know how to get my money ,so much husband help me get my money he told me how to handle it . so to inpower me he told me step by step how to call wadge and labor board and file a report and guess what i got all of my money back . i think the most important thing with a person with any kind of learning problem is having a suport styem to help you . like my husband he has dyxlica a little but mine is really bad in some places and he really get it and understands how to help me learn and some times he has to teach me the same thing over and over . he doesnt take advantage of me with money like my ex did , i would cash my pay checks and put the money on the table he would take the money and waste it . my husband now donald he works with me helping me write checks and now i write check some times ok . hes helping me learn to pay bills and most of all hes so suportive of me learning . and some times he will tell me karla you need to get over your fears wrtting checks in front of people , he tells me i dont have the word dyxlica woman writting on my face . hes the greatest help . i think thats why ive come so far in my life with him he embraces my inpwoerment .

My 19 year old daughter is severely Dyslexic, she is really struggling with being dyslexic at the moment. She is studying and is doing okay but is sick of being dyslexic.
Do you think we can get the teachers and disability support officer to understand she is sick of having to rely on others to help her, she is sick of needing support and help that has to be fought for every year, and the support is only every given after we as her parents have again pointed out to them that it is a legal requirement in Australia to provide support no matter how poor it is.
She is so smart and it sucks that she is treated so badly by teachers that she is smarter than. But as much as she hates her disability. It has made her the amazing smart, strong and brave young woman she has become. And along with the gifts it has given her, like anyone with dyslexia she can is and will always be a survivor. How can any of you with dyslexia not be.

yes i am a lefty but some times i write with my right hand but thats due to my mother beating me befor i went into school . i now use my lefted hand when she was alive i would make myself use my left hand in front of her ,see when i was young she used to hit my hand if i reached lefted handed for any thing she did her best to break me of being lefted handed . but after i moved back to my home state in 2005 every time my husband and i would be around my mother for dinner or any thing i would make myself use my left hand in front of her . i was taking my pwoer back and i was saying to her with out say iam lefted handed eccept it eccept me . my husband when we would be out eating he would under the table hold my right hand all threw the dinner so i had to use my left hand he knew i was trying to make myself stronger seeing my mother . and now that shes gone i am me lefted handed . she even commented once while we was out to dinner oh i see your still lefted handed then she frounded . it made me flash back to her hitting me at the table . i smiled at her and i yes i am ive always been lefted handed i know you didnt like it but iam going to always be lefted handed . she told me i was slow being lefted handed i told her no just dyxlic she didnt know what that was then she said well i there was somthing wrong with you after all . i then told her what ever and reached lefted handed for the rolls at the table , then my husband told her i love her no matter what handed she is ,shes perfect Phyillis . that really got to me for my husband to stand up to my mother with me . hes the greatest and i love and adore him .

Hello Lunnas.......Im so happy to have found <br />
I find it interesting that you commented on the right hand.....Do u feel that some or alot of dyslecis are left handed? I ask this, because as a child I was always being corrected on posture and penceil holding. My paper I was always getting inot trouble with my teachers for having the paper sideways as I would write twords myself.<br />
TY for your positive inputs! <br />
*sorry it took me so long to respond* <br />
<br />
my friends wont stop chatting with me.

you sound like me i do the same thing . dont cut your self down candy.<br />
its hard being dylixic and being adult , this is a world full of people that are mostly right handed and not dyxlica . but you know we make the world go around we are special people too never forget that we are all diffrent . and i see the diffrences we all make .the blog i posted was off a web site <br />
hehe thats why all the spelling right on the omney you can tell when i write a blog or story hehe

TY...........I never hear of explains alot of me........44 yrs old, and this is the first time I had heard of it. I feel trapped in a cage when I try to express myself with the written word. I get headaches.<br />
Im kindof hy is it I can speed read.......zig-zag with my finger across the book, I am reading or across the screen and see it as a whole.......not missing the piont and I hardly even read it. It appears like a big pic in myhead?....ugggggg this is frusterating to even explain.