September 2012
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What To Do If You Think Your Child Is Dyslexic

Dyslexia is not something that is preventable or treatable as such, but even so it is important that if you suspect a child has dyslexia you find out for certain so that you can take positive action sooner rather than later. Dyslexic children have different needs than other children and not addressing those needs can cause them to fall behind in their education and miss out on other things in life.

The good news though is that if you discover that your child is dyslexic there is plenty you can do to help and most dyslexic children are able with a little help to do just as well in life as non-dyslexic ones.

Dyslexic doesn’t mean stupid

Dyslexia is a very specific condition relating to your ability to read and spell. Many extremely intelligent people are dyslexic and it is not uncommon for a dyslexic child to later become a very proficient mathematician, scientist or whatever else.

If you think your child has dyslexia (or any other learning disability) you should not despair, just follow these steps and your child will soon be getting the help he/she needs.

Talk about it with teachers

Your child’s teachers are the ones closest to your child’s educational progress, so start by talking to them about tracking your child’s progress in school and whether they think there might be any problems.

Often dyslexia can lead to frustration which might manifest itself as acting out and poor behaviour so it is important to consider whether this might be the cause of any other problems (or whether the poor behaviour is causing the acting out).

Record everything you find out and start paying attention to the quality of work and your child’s ability to concentrate and study.

Seek professional testing

If you think there is a chance that your child is dyslexic (no matter how small) you should get him/her tested. The school should be able to organise this if you request it and professionals will be able to assess the cause of the problem.

The testing process doesn’t just attempt to discover your child’s weaknesses but also their strengths and should help to find ways to give them better support with their learning.

How to help

Once you know that your child is dyslexic there are a number of ways you can help and the best options depend on the severity of your child’s disability and which areas are most problematic.

The first step should be to talk to your child and reassure them that it is not their fault and it does not mean they are not clever, just that their mind processes words a little differently to most children. This process can actually bring you much closer to your child and that bond will help to avoid bad behaviour in the future and will help you both work to improve his/her educational progress.

Other options

Your more practical options include things such as home-schooling if only for a short time, or spending time outside of school helping your child. If you do not home-school then you should speak to his/her teachers and come up with a plan. Trust his/her teachers to do their job but also ask how you can help. Hiring a private tutor to help with problem areas can also be a big help and will ensure your child keeps up with the class and does not get left further behind.

Please visit this website for more information about learning and helping your children to get a better education.

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