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 during presentations
  • Working under pressure of time
  • Following and remembering verbal instructions
  • Giving clear verbal explanations
  • 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 the British Dyslexia Association.

Call Louise on 07702 797484

Louise Hilliar is a Chartered Psychologist based near Bristol who provides assessments for dyslexia. Please contact Louise if you would like further details.