Signs of dyslexia at secondary school

At secondary level, earlier difficulties may persist and there may be new problems in coping with the increased demands of the curriculum. They may show many of the following features:


• Inaccuracies, for example when reading examination questions
• Poor speed of reading
• Poor skimming and scanning
• Difficulty in getting the main idea
• Reading silently may be easier for comprehension than reading aloud
• Difficulties coping with heavier reading demands


• Persistent spelling difficulties
• Difficulties in copying from the board
• Difficulty organising and structuring written work
• Choosing simple vocabulary that is easier to spell
• Difficulty in spotting errors and proofreading
• Problems with legibility and speed of handwriting
• Difficulty with punctuation


• Problems with note taking, unable to listen and write at the same time
• Difficulty in following more than one instruction at a time
• Difficulty with concentration and attention


• Verbally may be good; a discrepancy between oral and written skills
• Word retrieval problems
• Difficulty in acquisition of topic words
• Slow to answer questions
• Unable to cope with a fast pace of verbal input, particularly if the sentence structure is complex
• More easily distracted by environmental noise


• Poor organisational skills, for example problems with having the right equipment and
materials, timekeeping and meeting deadlines
• Problems coping with more homework and lengthier assignments; often unsure of the
precise requirements of homework set
• Difficulty in satisfying the demands of a number of teachers


• Difficulties with memory
• More easily tired than peers because of failure to achieve automaticity with many everyday activities
• More prone to exam stress
• Difficulty with studying foreign languages, in particular, French
• Often better at practical subjects where less reading and writing is involved
• Low self-esteem, leading possibly to behaviour problems and truancy.