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I’m Concerned My Child Might Have Dyslexia. Now What?

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Are you wondering if your child’s reading issues might be caused by dyslexia? It can be hard to know where to start in order to find out. Here are nine steps you can take to determine whether your child has dyslexia and to discover where to turn next for help.


Learn about the signs and symptoms of dyslexia.

Learning about common signs of dyslexia can help you better understand what you’re seeing in your child.


Pay close attention to your child’s behavior.

Choose a time frame to observe your child and take notes. Keep in mind that dyslexia can cause trouble not just with reading and writing, but also with spelling, speaking and interacting with others. Try to note both strengths and trouble spots while observing your child.


Find out what’s been happening at school.

Has your child’s teacher noticed your child displaying any signs of dyslexia in the classroom? Is your child struggling with things like decoding or memorizing sight words? Does she have trouble coming up with the right word for an answer in class, even though she knows the answer? Ask if the teacher is already using any informal supports to help your child.


Talk to your child’s doctor.

Discuss your concerns about your child’s reading skills with your child’s pediatrician. You may want to set up an appointment to speak without your child present. Bring your notes and a list of additional concerns.


Look into getting an evaluation for supports at school.

Consider requesting a free educational evaluation. Kids who have dyslexia may have other learning or attention issues, too. The evaluation can provide information that could help your child get the support she needs in school, such as accommodations or specialized instruction.


Consult with a specialist.

Ask your pediatrician about a possible referral to specialists who can identify or rule out dyslexia. (Getting a formal identification often involves a team of professionals.) He may recommend a psychologist or neuropsychologist who can do the necessary testing. You’ll have to pay for that evaluation, however.


Meet with the school to discuss supports and services.

Schedule a meeting with the school and provide a copy of any independent testing you’ve had done. Even if the school has done its own evaluation, any additional information may help get a 504 plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) in place if your child is eligible.


Look into treatments and therapies.

Talk to your child’s doctor about dyslexia treatment options, including speech-language therapy and educational therapy. Many kids with dyslexia also have attention issues. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you may want to investigate ADHD treatment options as well.


Explore more ways to help your child.

Get answers to common questions parents have about dyslexia. Discover ways you can support your child at home. Read about successful people who have dyslexia. And consider connecting with parents like you. They may be able to share tips and advice that can help.

About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin, Ph.D., was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a school for children with specific learning disabilities.

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