Parents of children with dyslexia know the road to a diagnosis can be a long one. This process can extend well into a student’s academic career. Many parents have expressed that the process of diagnosing dyslexia is sometimes challenging. They have watched their bright and creative children excel in areas like art, music, and sports only to struggle in the areas that require any significant amount of reading. Those children become frustrated with their inability to understand the work that their peers are grasping. As a result, these children feel inadequate, develop poor self-esteem and often disengage from the learning experience altogether.
If you think that your child is dyslexic, you should begin monitoring and documenting your child’s behavior. This documentation may help provide proof that will validate your intuition, motivate you to seek professional help, and move the diagnosis along more quickly.
Collect writing samples and report cards. Maintain notes on exams, tutoring, or other related assessments. Pay close attention to the areas in which your child succeeds as well as struggles. Dyslexia is not about attention or intelligence, so it is important to differentiate your child’s abilities.
Often, educators will want to rule out vision and hearing problems first. Keep records of the results of any visual and auditory tests that your child has undergone.
While parents are urged to begin documentation as soon as they suspect any learning or reading disability, they should not delay in seeking consultation from a trained professional. Start by having a conversation with your child’s teacher and school guidance counselor. Additionally, you may want to reach out to a pediatrician, psychiatrist, or another appropriate health expert as you may experience resistance from any one of those avenues. You will need to find a trained professional experienced with the formal diagnostic process. The Roberts Academy Diagnostic Center provides these evaluations for prospective students if they have not already undergone evaluation.
Dyslexia is a brain-based learning condition that affects a person’s ability to decode the written word. This impairment results in an inability to learn how to effectively and efficiently spell, read, and/or write by way of traditional education. To thoroughly assess whether a child is dyslexic, he or she must undergo a series of tests. Assessment topics include, but are not limited to, phonological processing and awareness, linguistic behaviors, language fundamentals skills, auditory comprehension and processing skills, comprehension of the spoken language, and/or intelligence.
Although the tests are thorough and cover many aspects, the tests have been designed for children, so many of them are in game format and are unintimidating. The best thing you can do for your child is explain what they can expect. Prepare them for the testing environment, the people they will meet, and the reason for the testing. Make them feel comfortable and reinforce that they are not taking a test that is measured by right and wrong—they cannot fail. Make sure they get a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast.
Being diagnosed with dyslexia can be hard to accept at first, but it can also provide relief. It’s vital to remember that you are your child’s biggest advocate, and you may need to be more aggressive than you expect. Diagnosis gives both the parent and the child an answer and a direction. It is then that the parents can finally provide their child with the right tools for succeeding with their particular learning style.