DRagan Tutors


warning signs
common questions

Know What to Look For

A parent is often the first person to recognize a child’s reading problem.  Knowing what to look for can help you decide whether to investigate further.  Below is a list of key warning signs for the most common language-based learning disability; dyslexia.

Take Action!

If your child exhibits a persistent pattern of three or more of these warning signs over time, screening and assessment are strongly recommended. Beginning effective instruction from a reading tutor as early as possible will make a dramatic difference for your child and your family!

Warning Signs


  • Family history of reading difficulty
  • Delayed speech
  • Apprehension about attending school

In Preschool

  • Mixing up sounds in long words (such as bisgetti instead of spaghetti or aminal instead of animal)
  • Trouble rhyming words
  • Persistent left/right confusion
  • Difficulty learning to tie shoes
  • Trouble memorizing the alphabet, home address or phone number

In Elementary School

  • Reversing letters after the first grade
  • Slow, choppy, inaccurate reading
  • Frequent guessing at unknown words
  • Trouble remembering sight words
  • Terrible spelling
  • Slow, non-automatic handwriting
  • Difficulty finding the correct word when speaking
  • Especially messy bedroom, backpack, or desk

In Middle/High School

All of the above plus:

  • Limited vocabulary
  • Extremely poor written expression
  • Poor grades in many classes
  • Inability mastering a foreign language
  • At risk for dropping out of school

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Daryl Ragan, Certified Barton tutor, South Bay area including: Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga & Sunnyvale