What is stealth dyslexia?

Stealth dyslexia is form of hidden dyslexia.  These children are highly intelligent and often compensate for their dyslexia because they learn to rely upon their outstanding memory, keen intuition, and general smarts to work around their reading weaknesses. This type of dyslexia often goes undetected until the child is in fourth grade or older.  Then he or she starts struggling with reading longer and unfamiliar words.  Subsequently, this interferes with reading comprehension.

Your child may have stealth dyslexia if he or she is very smart and can read but does not enjoy reading. Many of these children don’t read for pleasure because it’s laborious.  These are frequent warning signs of stealth dyslexia.  You should be concerned if you check off three or more when considering your child.

  • Underachievement relative to intelligence
  • Inattention or apparent carelessness
  • A disparity between oral and written expression
  • Poor word-by-word sounding out
  • Impaired, choppy, oral reading but stronger silent reading
  • Difficulty reading short words (in, to, that) and may substitute
  • Problems in math or instructions on tests
  • Severe difficulties with spelling in everyday writing (not on tests)
  • Very messy with penmanship
  • Feelings of not being adequate enough

Often people will try to explain your child’s difficulties on inattentive and careless, not trying hard enough, or from having unrealistic school expectations.  School staff may say that your child is too smart to have a disability.  The school staff may also tell you your child is not failing enough to have a learning disability.  If you hear things like this from your child’s school staff get it touch with me. After all, you don’t want your child punished for something he or she can’t help but you need an evaluation to understand if it’s actually  dyslexia or something else.

Stealth Dyslexia Warning Signs

The above warning signs of stealth dyslexia are in stark contrast to the gifts where these children excel.  Children with stealth dyslexia are often great builders because they have great visual-spatial abilities and strong 3D mental rotation.  These children see the big picture.  They have language strengths with oral language and have a rich vocabulary.  Children with stealth dyslexia are often interesting to talk to and can carry on a good conversation because of their strong critical thinking and general fund of knowledge.

Contact our office if you suspect your child has stealth dyslexia and we can test to find out.