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Early Warning System
Volume 112, Program 47
Airdate: 7/10/2012
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Your child is too young to read and write—so is it too early to spot signs of dyslexia? Today on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Smith and Susan Barton discuss some preschool-level symptoms that should prompt you to learn more about dyslexia.

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Mike Smith:
Susan, last time you explained that dyslexia actually affects about 20 percent of Americans. Are there some warning signs that parents can look for, even in a young, pre-reading child?

Susan Barton:
Yes there are, because the warning signs of dyslexia start showing up as early as age 1. Watch for children who do not speak on schedule, who are not saying 5–10 simple one-syllable words by about 12 months old. Listen for children who, when they start to say the longer, multi-syllable words, get the sounds out of sequence and say things like: aminal, bisketti, hangabird, heckalopter, hopspital, and can’t say certain words like cinnamon. Look for the children who have repeated ear infections, over and over and over, and may have had tubes put in, or multiple tubes put in; the children who are constantly confused between words like left and right, before and after, yesterday and tomorrow, the directionality words; children who have not established a dominant hand by the time they’re 4 years old; children who have difficulty learning to tie their shoes, have trouble memorizing things like the letters in their name, their address, their phone number, and most importantly, children who cannot create words that rhyme, or tell which words rhyme or do not rhyme by the time they are 4 years old.

Mike:
Susan, this is really helpful for parents. Next time, we’ll consider signs of dyslexia in an older student. And until then, I’m Mike Smith.


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