Spotting signs of dyslexia

Staff Guide

A number of students do not realise that they are dyslexic until they reach university. When marking student assignments, typical signs of dyslexia might be:

  • A marked discrepancy between a student's oral and written ability. He or she may perform well in seminar groups, but find it difficult to articulate ideas in written format.
  • Proof-reading errors, ie. Missed words, inaccurate spellings.
  • Difficulties with grammar and punctuation.
  • Long and/or poorly constructed sentences.
  • Repetition of ideas.
  • Difficulties with the structure of the piece. The order in which points are made may not seem logical or sequential.
  • Paragraphs may seem overly long and not link to the previous or following paragraph.

A student may show just one or all of these signs. If you suspect that a student might be dyslexic, then you could suggest that he or she visit the AccessAbility Centre and book an appointment with a Study Adviser.

The Study Adviser will talk to the student about any difficulties that they are experiencing, and may decide to carry out a screening test to establish whether the student is at risk of having dyslexia. Students may then be referred to an Educational Psychologist or specialist assessor for a full assessment.

If the full assessment suggests that the student is dyslexic, the Psychologist or assessor may recommend:

  • Extra time in exams
  • One-to-one support from a Study Adviser in the AccessAbility Centre
  • Technological support, ie. A computer, specialist software, and/or dictaphone.

Home students are often eligible for a Disabled Students' Allowance which provides funding for the above support. The Disabled Students' Allowance is provided by Student Finance England (SFE), Student Finance Wales (SFW), the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), Library Boards in Northern Ireland, and the National Health Service.  At postgraduate level Research Councils would also be added to this list.  Contact the AccessAbility Centre for further information or the websites of each funder noted above. 

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