Kids with dyslexia need different types of help at different times. You may not yet know if your child has dyslexia. But the more you understand about this common learning difference, the better you can support your child. With the right support, kids who struggle with reading can improve skills and feel more confident.
The only way to know for sure if your child has dyslexia is through an evaluation. You can get one for free at school, and the results will show where your child is struggling. That lets you get your child the right support at school. For example, your child might get specialized teaching designed for kids who struggle with reading.
An evaluator will give your child a series of tests for dyslexia. A school evaluation tests other areas, too. This lets you see the full picture of your child’s strengths and challenges. And that helps you and the school use your child’s strengths to make progress.
Evaluations can be done either at school or privately. You might hear different terms depending on who does it.
For example, schools don’t “diagnose” conditions. They “identify” learning disabilities. So, you might hear that your child has a learning disability in reading. But you might also hear the term dyslexia.
Before deciding on an evaluation, though, rule out any medical problems that might be a factor. Your child’s health care provider can check for vision or hearing problems. (Dyslexia is not a problem with vision.)
A psychologist will look for other things that might be getting in the way of your child’s learning. These may include ADHD or mental health issues. (Read about the connection between dyslexia and anxiety.)
The evaluator may ask you for a family history and have you fill out questionnaires about your child’s strengths and challenges. And your child’s teachers might give information on what they’re seeing in the classroom.