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.
Pay close attention to your child’s behavior.
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.
Look into treatments and therapies.
Explore more ways to help your child.