Warning Signs

"Like a set of muscles, the brain responds to use and disuse by either growing or decaying." Breakthroughs does an extensive brain skill assessment which identifies the skills needing development.

One or more of these warning signs can dramatically affect a person’s education and personal life. This following list may indicate that one or more brain skills are in need of development.

This is a condensed list of some warning signs. Be aware that not all signs need to be checked in the applicable age category to indicate a learning gap. Any of these signs can dramatically effect a child’s education and personal life.

Preschool and JK

  • Weak coordination
  • Lack of interest in learning to print or color
  • Failure to know letters in own name
  • Limited use of language
  • Lack of appreciation or concept of rhymes
  • Persistent baby talk
  • Difficulty in learning and remembering names of letters


  • Any of the above list
  • Failure to understand that words can come apart(sailboat can be sail and boat, further: boat can be b/oa/t
  • Inability to learn to associate letters with sounds
  • Inability to sound out the simplest of words, such as mat, cut, hop, nip, ten
  • Complains about how hard reading is
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Can’t remember a word previously known
  • Difficulty cutting, pasting, coloring and writing activities

School Years

  • Any of the above list
  • Reversals of letters or numbers
  • Loses place or skips lines while reading
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Difficulty retelling a story that was heard
  • Difficulty automatically switching from one task to another
  • Eyes skipping when reading
  • Trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, days of the week, months of the year
  • Speech that is not fluent- lots of ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’
  • Slow progress in acquiring reading skills
  • Difficulty with spelling
  • Lack of strategies to read new words- guesses
  • Trouble reading math word problems
  • Lowered self esteem, with pain not always visible to others
  • Reading is very slow and tiring
  • Cannot copy accurately
  • Reading improves with larger print or fewer distractions on the page
  • Cannot color within the lines
  • Illegible handwriting
  • Letters collide and no space between word boundaries
  • Mirror writing- hold the paper up to the mirror and you are able to read it
  • Messy papers
  • Difficulty with auditory discrimination
  • Accident prone
  • May do better with word identification in isolation than in sentence context
  • Has a limited sight vocabulary
  • Cannot finish assignments on time
  • Visually or auditorily distractible
  • Short attention span
  • Rarely completes school work
  • Disorganized- loses items
  • Class clown, acting out behavior
  • Immature behavior- seems to be immature or babyish for his or her age
  • Difficulty remembering math facts
  • Difficulty moving from printing to cursive writing
  • Difficulty getting ideas into written form

Success Stories

To view success stories from children and adults that have struggled with the above warning signs and come out the other side visit our section on testimonies.