Mississippi College

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin.  It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.  Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

Behaviors/Performances at Various Grade Levels

Grades K-2

  • Trouble segmenting and blending
  • Poor letter-sound recall
  • Poor application of phonics
  • Inconsistent memory for words and lists
  • Mispronouncing words
  • Inability to spell phonetically

Grades 3-4

  • Phonic decoding is a struggle
  • Inconsistent word recognition
  • Over reliance on context and guessing
  • Trouble learning new words (spoken)
  • Confusion about other symbols (math and music)

Grades 5-6

  • Poor spelling and punctuation
  • Reverts to manuscript from cursive
  • Organization of writing is difficult
  • Decodes laboriously, skips unknown words
  • Avoids reading, vocabulary declines

Grades 7-8

  • Slow reading, loses the meaning
  • Persistent phonological weakness
  • Poor spelling and writing
  • Confuses similar words
  • Does better with structured, explicit teaching of language

9th Grade and Beyond

  • Trouble with foreign language study
  • Writing and spelling problems persist
  • Reading is slow and labored
  • Longer writing assignments are very difficult
  • Can cope when given extra time, study strategies, and structured language teaching

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