Classroom teachers may not be able to determine if a child has dyslexia. They may detect early signs that suggest further assessment by a psychologist or other health professional in order to actually diagnose the disorder. Letter and number reversals are the most common warning sign. Such reversals are fairly common up to the age of 7 or 8 and usually diminish by that time. If they do not, it may be appropriate to test for dyslexia or other learning problems. Difficulty copying from the board or a book can also suggest problems. There may be a general disorganization of written work. A child may not be able to remember content, even if it involves a favorite video or storybook. Problems with spatial relationships can extend beyond the classroom and be observed on the playground. The child may appear to be uncoordinated and have difficulty with organized sports or games. Difficulty with left and right is common, and often dominance for either hand has not been established. In the early grades, music and dance are often used to enhance academic learning. Children with dyslexia can have difficulty moving to the rhythm of the music.
Auditory problems in dyslexia encompass a variety of functions. Commonly, a child may have difficulty remembering or understanding what he hears. Recalling sequences of things or more than one command at a time can be difficult. Parts of words or parts of whole sentences may be missed, and words can come out sounding funny. The wrong word or a similar word may be used instead. Children struggling with this problem may know what they want to say but have trouble finding the actual words to express their thoughts.
Many subtle signs can be observed in children with dyslexia. Children may become withdrawn and appear to be depressed. They may begin to act out, drawing attention away from their learning difficulty. Problems with self-esteem can arise, and peer and sibling interactions can become strained. These children may lose their interest in school-related activities and appear to be unmotivated or lazy. The emotional symptoms and signs are just as important as the academic and require equal attention.