So your child is struggling with reading and you’re wondering what to do. We’ve all been there. Here are some tips compiled from parents in our group over the past few years. Remember, dyslexia is defined as any reading difficulty that is unexpected for the child’s age, intelligence and level of education.
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1. Trust your instincts
If you suspect that something is wrong, your feelings are probably accurate. Maybe it’s just a matter of bolstering a few skills, or maybe there is a more serious reading problem, but find out what it is.
2. Don’t wait
We love teachers who look for the best in our children! But when it comes to reading, sometimes a well-meaning teacher will tell you that the child will “outgrow the problem.” This is often not the case. The earlier a reading problem is addressed, the more effective the remediation will be.
3. Talk to your child’s teacher
Try to be specific about what you are/aren’t seeing from your child’s reading: she’s guessing rather than reading the words; she doesn’t know her letters or sounds; she doesn’t remember what she read; she can’t learn her sight words.
4. Educate yourself
Read this web site and anything else you can get your hands on. Learn the symptoms of reading problems. Learn what types of teaching work for dyslexic kids. Join a dyslexia parent group or Facebook group and seek their advice and ideas.
5. Seek help from the school
After talking with the teacher, find out if your child is already in the RtI process. If the child is not responding to interventions in the classroom, he might need more help. You have the right to ask the school to test your child for problems, but understand that the test may not get your child any special services.
6. Get a tutor
Even if your child is getting “extra help” at school, we urge every parent to try to get an outside tutor who is highly qualified to teach kids with dyslexia. Many kids with dyslexia struggle badly with reading but don’t “test low enough to qualify” for any special services. The resources of public schools are stretched very thin and many schools (both public and private) don’t have the right programs to successfully teach reading to dyslexic children.