Today while discussing our all-consuming game rental Mortal Kombat, my son called one character "Doom-Smoke" when the actual name is "Noob-Smoke." An honest mistake, really, except the whole time we had this game I was constantly correcting him about it. This by itself wouldn't be a big deal, the boy still says "merchine" instead of "machine" and I didn't think much of it all week. But this afternoon something made me think more about it. And I realized that he does this often when the middle letters are the same. He'll read "leer" instead of "reel" or "toob" instead of "boot." He's done this for a while.
So I decided to look for some symptoms of dyslexia, since I really know so little about it. Turns out dyslexics are notoriously bad spellers (as is my son), have difficulty remembering sequences or facts (like his multiplication tables), and often skip or change small words while reading aloud (which he does constantly). All these things may be coincidence. He might just be a bad speller and not so great at math and reads too fast to get all the words right. But from the list of about 20 symptoms, he had at least half of them.
I called the portfolio reviewer/ supervising teacher I am using, asking if she knew of any way to test for dyslexia. She told me she knew someone who was trained in testing for it, and also offered tutoring for dyslexic children. While I don't intend to schedule any tutoring with her if the tests are positive for dyslexia, its nice to know she at least knows what she's looking for.
In all honesty, I actually hope he is dyslexic. It would not only explain his spelling problems, but it would explain everything. And it would open a whole new area of training and methods to help him learn that I may never have considered before.