How do I know if my child has reading difficulties? What about dyslexia? Reading difficulties are often a grey area for parents as they search desperately for answers.
The key for any parent who’s feeling lost at this point is to move from a position of uncertainty to empowerment. As the saying goes, when we know more, we can do more.
Whilst reading difficulties may be picked up at home by the parent, they are often noticed in the classroom by the teacher or learning support. Part of the teaching process includes assessing a child’s knowledge and academic progress throughout the year.
A teacher may flag the possibility of reading difficulties to a parent, however it is not the role of the teacher to determine the extent of the reading difficulties or diagnose dyslexia.
If you want to confirm whether your child has reading difficulties or seek a diagnosis of dyslexia, the only way to know for sure is for your child to undergo a formal assessment. This is usually the responsibility of the parent to organise, book and pay for the assessment process.
If you’re interested in going down this path with your child, you will need the services of a Specialist Educational Psychologist to assess your child’s reading abilities and determine whether your child has dyslexia. Your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses will be investigated by psychologist and the results will be compiled into a report.
There is more to the process than merely undergoing an assessment with a Specialist Educational Psychologist. Although this is where reading difficulties can be formally identified, there are more steps required to complete the process. Before a diagnosis of a specific learning disorder in reading (or dyslexia) can be made, your child must receive at least six months of intervention through a specialist teacher, tutor or therapist which focusses on improving your child’s reading skills.
Prior to seeking an assessment or diagnosis of dyslexia it is also important to have your child’s eyesight and hearing tested to rule out other possible causes of reading difficulties. The Psychologist will ask for copies of these test results which will form part of the background information for their assessment report.
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