Most people with dyslexia, ADD or Specific Learning Disorders will have over 10 of the following traits and behaviours. These characteristics can vary from day-to-day or minute-to-minute. The most consistent thing about them is their inconsistency.
- Appears intelligent, but has difficulty with written symbols (reading, writing or math).
- Described as being lazy, careless, immature or as an “over-achiever.”
- Low self-esteem, fights depression, self-conscious or hides and covers up weaknesses.
- Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, computers or engineering.
- Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation and visual aids. (May struggle with lectures)
- Confused by verbal or written instructions.
- Remembers struggling in school or may have children who are struggling in school.
- Employed in areas that emphasize use of visual imagery. (Entrepreneurs, engineers, tradesmen, artists, executives, ITs, salesmen or athletes.)
- Difficulty focussing on the task at hand: may excel at multitasking.
- Has difficulty with or is stressed by organizing meetings or events.
- Inability to follow-through, finish tasks or consistently hold a job.
- Unable to advance in the workplace due to a fear of, or inability to complete written exams.
VISION AND READING
- Experiences headaches, stomach aches or stress while reading.
- Confused by letters, numbers, words or sequences.
- Unaware that reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
- Proof-reading is ineffective.
- Extremely keen sighted, observant, or lacks depth perception or peripheral vision. *
- Avoids reading aloud; finds silent reading easier.
- Needs to reread information several times in order to comprehend.
- Gets tired or bored easily from reading.
WRITING AND SPELLING
- Trouble with writing or copying, pencil grip is unusual, hand cramps up, handwriting varies or is illegible.
- Poor spelling; relies on “spell-check” before sending emails, memos or documents.
- Difficulty filling out forms.
- Uses only capitals letters or mixes upper case and lower case when writing; combines cursive and print; frequently abbreviates words.
- May alter word choice when writing – to avoid spelling mistakes.
HEARING AND SPEECH
- Appears to hear things not said or apparent to others; argues frequently; often accused of “not listening.”
- Difficulty putting thoughts into words, stutters under stress, mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words and syllables when speaking.
- Easily distracted or frustrated by sounds when trying to focus.
MATH AND TIME MANAGEMENT
- Has difficulty managing time: consistently late or too early, difficulty predicting how long a task may take.
- Dependent on finger counting, calculators and other math tricks.
- Difficulty counting objects or dealing with money.
- May show exceptional talent in math.
MEMORY AND COGNITION
- Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, faces and specialized areas of interest.
- Poor memory for sequences, names, facts and information that has not been experienced.
- Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words.
- Skilled at problem-solving – may have an answer well before others.
- Difficulty with North, East, South and West; reading a map; confuses left and right.
- Withdrawn or fearful of social situations which are out of their “comfort zone.”
- May be loud, boisterous, inappropriate or offensive in social situations.
- Unaware of others or very empathetic of others.
- Clumsy (need to hold onto a handrail when descending stairs, difficulty throwing accurately, inability to stand on one foot)
- Prone to motion sickness.
- Above average athletic ability.
BEHAVIOUR AND PERSONALITY
- Extremely disorderly (loses keys, glasses, etc.) or compulsively orderly.
- Fussy eaters or sensitive to foods, additives or chemical products.
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine; follows a strict set of “rules” for self-management.
- May be an extra deep or light sleeper.
- Extremely high or low tolerance for pain.
- Strong sense of justice, emotionally sensitive, strives for perfection; may over-react when making a mistake.
- Enjoys video games.
- Reliance on others in areas of writing, organization, book-keeping (spouse, secretary, etc.)
- Easily frustrated, stressed or overwhelmed – resulting in annoyance, anger or emotional outbursts.
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