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What does dyslexia look like?

Dyslexia differs from person to person in terms of signs and severity but those with dyslexia often have difficulties in the following areas:

  • Reading accuracy
  • Spelling accuracy
  • Fluent reading
  • Reading comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Punctuation
  • Copying
  • Note-taking
  • Following and remembering verbal instructions
  • Giving clear verbal explanations
  • Multi-tasking
  • Working under pressure of time
  • Organisational skills
  • Concentration
  • Short-term memory

As you can see, weaknesses related to dyslexia are not restricted to literacy skills.

What is dyslexia?

A definition:

  • Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
  • Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
  • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
  • A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention.

(Source – Rose Review, Identifying and teaching children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties, 2009)

What does an assessment involve?

  • A questionnaire is completed before the assessment to gather information about a client’s background, current situation and strengths and weaknesses.
  • This information is discussed in more detail during the assessment.
  • Cognitive abilities and literacy skills are assessed.
  • It is usually possible to determine whether a client is dyslexic on the day of an assessment.
  • A detailed report is produced explaining the findings of the assessment and providing recommendations.

Further information about dyslexia is available from Dyslexia Action and the British Dyslexia Association.

Louise Hilliar is a Chartered Psychologist who provides assessments for dyslexia.  She is based in Bristol.  Please contact her if you feel that you would benefit from an assessment.


Phone: 07702 797 484



Phone: 07702 797 484



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