Getting Help

Evaluations & Assessments

If your child is in a public school, there should be resources to help a struggling learner. Lean on the classroom teacher for feedback and referrals. Ask the teacher if he/she can send things home for you to work on with your child. If the teacher is not worried but you are, keep pushing. “Squeaky wheel gets the oil.” You are your child’s best advocate so continue so ask for formal evaluations and to meet with the principal or counselor.

If your child is in a private school, it may be more difficult to get resources but as a tax-payer, you are entitled to them through your local school district. Again, the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” and this can be a long process. Don’t give up- keep asking for help.

Another option is to have your child evaluated privately. A Child Psychologist or Ph.D. can do this if you suspect your child may have a learning disability related to reading/writing/spelling.  If you suspect your child has ADD/ADHD, your pediatrician can work with you on a diagnosis and treatment options. Regardless, I encourage you to be the advocate your child needs until you get results.

The bottom line is that if you have a dyslexic diagnosis, you can get services through the school much easier. You can have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) written with accommodations for your child. An IEP is a Federal document and will follow your child throughout their education. With that being said, even if you don’t have a diagnosis, if your child is delayed in the area of language (not reading on grade level), they would benefit from an Orton-Gillingham tutor. I have worked with many students who did not have a diagnosis but thrived with OG methods. If your school is not or will not, do enough for your child, you may consider private tutoring. For more details on Orton-Gillingham, see that page.

Early Intervention is KEY

Every person whether dyslexic or not is different and unique.  But because dyslexia stems from a common phonological difference we can find children with similar characteristics and catch their reading issues early.  It is a spectrum disorder from mild to severe.  There are screenings that are being done prior to Kindergarten, and we know how to predict dyslexia by age 4 with 90% accuracy.  Please don’t wait to get help if you think your child is not performing as well as they should be in school.  Most of the time it is not “developmental” since reading is not a naturally developing skill, nor will they “catch up” later as they mature.  *Research shows early intervention is key and without it they actually fall further behind.