Although our understanding and acceptance of dyslexia has improved a lot over the past couple of decades, it is still a relatively mis-understood disorder and one that is much more common than you might have thought.
Image Credit: Dyslexia
So as a parent, what should you do if you suspect that your child might be dyslexic?
Don’t Jump To Conclusions
Dyslexia symptoms typically begin showing up during elementary school years. They can appear sooner, so being vigilant is a good idea. But due to the nature of the condition it is hard to diagnose earlier than this.
If you suspect dyslexia, you should also consider other causes. For example, a hearing or sight problem could produce similar symptoms in young children.
Misdiagnosing dyslexia can be just as damaging as having dyslexia, so be cautious before labelling your child as dyslexic.
The Early Symptoms
As mentioned already, early diagnosis is hard, but not impossible. Symptoms can show before school starts and being prepared can be helpful even if you can’t have a definite diagnosis. So what are the early symptoms? Here are a few to look out for:
- Your child is slow to learn to speak
- An obvious stutter when speaking
- Regular ear infections or other ear problems
- Difficulty with directions (left vs right, up vs down…)
- Mixing up consonant sounds in words
- A Lack of interest in learning letters & words
At Elementary School
Once your child arrives at elementary school, problems can become much more evident and even if you didn’t notice any of the early symptoms during the first few years, it is worth looking out for these ones.
- Mixing up particular letters on a regular basis (I/E or D/B are common ones)
- Mixing up word order in sentences, struggling with basic grammar
- Anything related to reading/writing will quickly fatigue them
- Has a strong preference for being told stories but no interest in reading
This is the stage of education that is often most affected by dyslexia and being able to provide the necessary support now will make a big difference in the long run.
Action Plan – What To Do
So you’ve seen the signs and ruled out other possible causes. What is the next step?
The first thing to do is to discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher or even the head-teacher to see if they have the same concerns. Your next step should be to inquire about having a professional test your child.
Most people don’t realize that there are multiple levels and types of dyslexia and there are many different ways to test, so even if you are certain of the diagnosis, having your child tested is essential.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed the professional will be able to give you more guidance on what to do next, and you can then start discussing possibilities with the teachers.
About The Author
This guest post was written by James from UKTutors. James is a tutor and loves to write about education for children. Thanks for reading his post.