I think my child has dyslexia. Now what?

Your child struggles with reading. Maybe sounding out words is a challenge. Or reading without making a lot of mistakes. Could this be dyslexia?

If you think your child has dyslexia, you may worry about what it means. There are a few things to know.

First, dyslexia is very common. Second, kids who have it are just as smart as other kids. And third, there are proven methods for teaching kids with dyslexia to read and improve skills. Here are steps to take if you’re concerned your child has dyslexia.

1. Learn the signs of dyslexia — and the myths.

Reading involves many skills, and kids can struggle with more than one. Plus, reading challenges show up in different ways as kids get older. Explore an age-by-age list of signs of dyslexia in kids. And debunk common myths about dyslexia.

2. Look for patterns.

Watch for what happens when your child reads, and take notes on what you see. You may be able to pick up patterns. For example, are certain words harder for your child to sound out than others? The more you notice, the more information you have to share with others.

3. Find out what the teacher is seeing.

Tell your child’s teacher what you’ve noticed at home, and ask if the same things are happening at school. Sharing information gives you both a better idea of what your child is struggling with so you can get the right support.

4. Let your child know there’s help.

Struggling in school can make kids feel alone and bad about themselves. Let your child know you’re working with the teacher to find the best ways to help. Knowing that skills can improve can help your child stay motivated.

5. Know where to go for answers.

Teachers and health care providers are great resources. They can suggest steps to take to find out if your child has dyslexia, like a free evaluation at school.

6. Find ways to help at home.

There are lots of ways to build reading skills at home. Discover strategies you can try. But don’t just focus on challenges. Help your child celebrate big and small successes in reading or any other activity.

7. Build a support network.

As you take steps to help your child, it’s important for you to have support, too. Try to be open about your child’s challenges with people you trust. You can also connect with other families on Understood’s Wunder app.


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