Signs of Dyslexia: Word Blunders

If you suspect your child might be grappling with dyslexia, look out for word misplacement.

If you suspect your child might be grappling with dyslexia, one sign to look out for is word misplacement. Does he or she frequently use incorrect words that sound remarkably similar to the correct ones?

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity has posted a few of their favorite word retrieval SNAFUs, which are excellent examples of this behavior:

"The dinosaurs became distinct."

"The monster is a pigment of my imagination."

"I hope I win the constellation prize."

"Good punctuation means not to be late."

"He's a wolf in cheap clothing."

People without dyslexia will hear the word “cup” as a straightforward, distinct word. Those who suffer from dyslexia will hear two or more seperate sounds in the word, and attempt to use this sound information to “retrieve” the word they want to be using. Often, this results in them using a word that rhymes with the “right” word for the sentence.

As a parent, you might see your child exhibiting this behavior more frequently in high-pressure situations, as the dyslexic may be suffering from anxiety related to their learning difficulties. Dyslexics know what they want to say, and what they have to say is usually highly intelligent and creative, but when faced with stress and a time crunch, they might have trouble accessing the word they want to use. Teaching your child stress-management skills will ease their anxiety and, hopefully, free them to use the words they intend to use.

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