Parents should be aware of the following key points about dyslexia:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects reading and language processing. It is not related to intelligence, and individuals with dyslexia often have average or above-average intelligence.
Parents should watch for signs such as difficulty with phonemic awareness (identifying and manipulating sounds in words), letter recognition, decoding (sounding out words), spelling, and reading comprehension. Other signs may include writing difficulties, slow reading speed, and reversing or confusing letters and words.
Early identification is crucial. Parents should be observant of their child’s progress in reading and seek professional evaluation if they notice persistent difficulties. Early intervention can greatly improve outcomes.
If dyslexia is suspected, parents should consult with professionals, such as psychologists or specialists trained in diagnosing learning disabilities. A comprehensive assessment can identify specific challenges and guide appropriate interventions. At the Behavioral Health Clinic, we have professionals who are experienced in assessing for and diagnosis dyslexia.
Students with dyslexia benefit from individualized education plans (IEPs) or 504 plans that outline accommodations and support in educational settings. These may include specialized instruction, assistive technology, extended time on assignments and exams, and alternative assessments. We are happy to help support you with this process for your child by designing recommendations that are a good fit for your child.
Structured, multisensory approaches to reading instruction, such as Orton-Gillingham or Wilson Reading System, have shown effectiveness for students with dyslexia. These methods use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile techniques to teach reading and spelling. We work with MindTeam, an online group that provides research backed interventions for children with dyslexia.
Dyslexia can impact a child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. Parents should provide emotional support, encourage their child’s strengths and interests, and help them develop coping strategies to overcome challenges. Open communication and fostering a positive learning environment are essential.
Parents should be prepared to advocate for their child’s needs within the school system. This may involve working closely with teachers, school administrators, and special education professionals to ensure appropriate accommodations, resources, and support are provided.
Community and Resources:
Seeking support from dyslexia-specific organizations, online communities, and local support groups can provide valuable information, resources, and a network of individuals who understand the challenges associated with dyslexia.
Focus on Strengths:
It’s essential to remember that dyslexia is not a measure of a child’s intelligence or potential. Many individuals with dyslexia excel in areas such as creativity, problem-solving, and visual thinking. Encouraging and nurturing these strengths can boost their confidence and overall success.
Remember, each child with dyslexia is unique, and their needs may vary. Regular communication with educators, ongoing assessment of progress, and adapting strategies as needed are critical in supporting their academic and emotional growth.
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