Dyslexia Indicators - Kindergarten


Dyslexia is found on the lower end of a continuum of reading skills (Elliott 2020; Shaywitz,  S., Escobar, Shaywitz, B., Fletcher, and Makuch 1992). Students with dyslexia range from  those who experience difficulties with phonological awareness and word level difficulties  to those having profound difficulties with reading and writing that persist throughout  their lives.


  • Moderately inherited Trait
  • Difficulty with phonological processing which impacts decoding and blending of sounds
  • Slow reading fluency compared to others in their grade
  • Difficulty with graphology, morphology, and phonology that impact encoding - spelling
  • Difficulty with rapid automatic naming of familiar objects (word retrieval).  This translates to difficulties recalling written words

Potential Indicators of dyslexia towards the end of kindergarten:  

  • Difficulty with word retrieval, late learning to talk
  • Difficulty pronouncing speech sounds
  • Mixing up sounds and/or syllables 
  • difficulty with syllable segmentation ex. base  ball
  • Confuses or avoids letters
  • Difficulty identifying and creating rhymes
  • Difficulty segmenting words  b  a  t
  • Confused about the meaning of words
  • Difficulty recalling sounds of letters 
  • Lack of interest in wordplay activities or read-alouds

Framework to support students identified with dyslexia:

  • Differentiate universal instruction in the classroom
  • Intervention
  • Special Education

Critical Principles of Reading Instruction

  • Early intervention based on individual needs
  • Instruction guided by assessment
  • Instruction is systematic, cumulative, and systemic
  • Explicit instruction
  • Feedback addresses individual needs
  • Opportunities to apply strategies to better generalize skills
  • Collaboration 
  • Educators engage and motivate students 
Content of Instruction
  • Phonological awareness
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Alphabetic principle
  • Phonics
  • Morphology
  • fluency
  • Questions? Real answers from 25 years of experience increasing reading skills.

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