Is This Dyslexia?

Updated on January 18, 2012
M.Q. asks from Perris, CA
8 answers

Hi friends, to make this kinda quick, my 5th grader asked me the other day what is 8X0= ? she was seriously confused and it's not the first time she has asked me what something X0 equals, then a few days back she asked me "how do you spell DOES?" and I asked her, are you serious? and her answer was, "yeah Mom, sometimes i get really confused with all the letters" now that I'm thinking more about it I can think back to several times where she's asked me questions like these. So my question to you guys is, is one born with Dyslexia? or can it just come on suddenly? Does this sound like it? and who do I talk to about this? BTW I have a brother who was "diagnosed" with dyslexia in Argentina back in the 80's, I don't know what they based their diagnosis on and they never offered him help, but that's how things are out there. TIA!!

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answers from Washington DC on

Dyslexia doesn't just appear. It is something that is present for years. And yes, I believe one is born with it. And it's not called dyslexia anymore - it's a learning disability...reading, writing, etc. will be tested out.

It could be short-term memory loss. It could be the stress of homework.

I would contact my pediatrician and ask them for a referral to a specialist. If you were here in VA - i would highly recommend INOVAs Keller Group - they specialize in testing and treating learning disabilities.

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answers from Seattle on

Well... it's REALLY common to forget basic things for short periods of time. Like how to spell the word "the", or "back". Brains just get stuck for a minute. When is it the most common? During hormonal periods. Puberty, PMS'ing, pregnancy. Gack! C'mon braincells! Rub together and get a spark!!!

In Highschool all my friends were in AP classes, and we'd CONSTANTLY be asking each other "duh" questions. Just because our brains would get stuck for a moment. Twitch. Twitch. And then you get it right and it just LOOKS wrong. Twitch. According to one of my neurology professors this phenomenon happens MOST of the time when kids are doing challenging work (regardless of ability, if it's challenging to them)... so their minds are so caught up in trying to work out the challenging, that the brain just naturally makes easy things 'difficult' AND when learning 1 or more languages. The brain THINKS DIFFERENTLY in different languages, and it kinda skips a beat from time to time as it's switching back and forth.

COULD it be
- dyslexia
- dysgraphia
- dyscalcula


It's probably not.

It's probably puberty hormones combined with there's some challenging work she's also doing.

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answers from Dallas on

dyslexia is a processing problem and can take many forms. It is not just seeing letters or numbers in reverse. Sometimes it is not diagnosed early because the child is doing well in school. When they start to fall behind and are trying, then it is something that they look for along with other learning disabilities. Your school testing department can test for dyslexia (there are several tests available) and then make modifications. Usually they need a reason to test -- have her teachers noticed any particular problems that she is having in school?? Ask them for their observations and then tell them of your concerns. Then ask for testing if it is warranted.

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answers from Dover on

Hi, LM4G,

Lots of times it's 4th or 5th grade before these disabilities are diagnosed because that's when cognitively kids should have worked out these things. So that's when the benchmark is kind of set.

My son has dysgraphia. It is like dyslexias backward first cousin. He can take in the information but can not put it out in clear written form. It's a processing disorder. If you were to ask him the question he could give it to you verbally, but couldn't write it out. He can't spell worth a darn, his handwriting is on a second or thrid grade level (he's 18), and his written structure is disjointed, awkward and confusing. It has absolutely nothing to do with what he knows or is capable of learning, but what and how he can share what he knows.

Have you talked to her teacher? Does she see any need for concern? The only real way to diagnose is to test and I would start at the school. Set up a meeting with the teacher and school counselor and address your concerns to them. Find out if they see her struggle. If they do, then request testing for learning disabilities. If they don't and you are still concerned, you can get a referral from you PCP and have them done yourself.

If you are concerned then that's enough to push for difinitive answers, because if you are going to be wrong, let it be that she doesn't have a problem rather than she did and no one noticed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Before rushing for a diagnosis, have your daughter be evaluated by a developmental optometrist and have her go through a developmental vision assessment...not just the normal acuity check with reading letters on a chart. Many kids have eye issues and it comes out looking like dyslexia or ADHD when it really has alot to do with how their eye muscles can and cannot work, or if their eyes aren't working together, etc. My daughters eye muscles tire easily so letters "move up & down" when she is tired so it makes math or spelling difficult when she's tired. The dr gave her slightly magnifying glasses and all her "random" issues became nonexistent. It was crazy, but awesome...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Dyslexia doesn't "appear" in 5th grade unless there is some kind of brain injury involved. Yes, a person who had a significant difficulty with the mechanics of reading/decoding (Dyslexia) is born with that condition. What you are describing is very typical behavior when children move into more complex and sophisticated writing styles. They are more focused on contect and style than the mechanics. This is also the time in school when instructional focus shifts from "how to write" to a more formal "write to inform" model.

As a former school psychologist... she's fine. Kids forget how to spell things. Adults forget how to spell things. We use computers to write and calculators to do math as we get older, so we "forget" how to do things. Just remind her "where" to look to get the information she is looking for. In the long run, she'll get further knowing how to look-up a word than just being given the answer!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think it just comes on, but it can go undiagnosed. My daughters friends was JUST diagnosed and she's a freshman in high school!
Have her evaluated by a professional.
Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Dyslexia is not limited to visual issues -- it can be that and/or auditory processing and attention problems. We've become so accustomed to assuming a visual problem is dyslexia, but it can also be several other things.

I agree with so many of the other comments -- it's not uncommon for dyslexia to be diagnosed until later because the kids are good at compensating. If you are concerned, send a written request to the school principal asking for an assessment. By law they have to provide an assessment if you request it.

I also agree with the mom who mentioned a visit to a developmental opthalmologist. Visual processing issues can look like dyslexia.

Also see if you can find somebody who can assess her for Irlen Syndrome. This can cause letters to move around on the page and the symptoms look like dyslexia. I know somebody in Manhattan Beach who can assess her, if you're willing travel that far. The Irlen Institute is in Long Beach, but they charge quite a bit for a screening, so better to find an independent person.

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