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Could Your Child’s Reading Difficulty Actually Be Dyslexia? How to Get Evaluated and Find Help

by Deborah Song

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The purpose behind a school identification is to determine if a child is eligible for special education, whereas the purpose behind a medical diagnosis is to understand the cause of symptoms to guide decision on treatment.

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The support and services your child may receive through school includes how and what students learn. For example, a student who has been identified with a learning disability might get extra time for work or tests and breaks throughout the day. They might also work in smaller groups or a quieter space and be required to do fewer problems on a page.

The range of professionals that can assist a child with dyslexia outside of school include reading specialists, speech-language pathologists, child psychologists, child neuropsychologists, and special education teachers. They employ specific teaching methods such as an approach called Orton-Gillingham (OG), which uses highly structured, sequential and multisensory.

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Reading specialists and speech-language pathologists also focus on phonological awareness, an early language skill that’s key to reading. They can also help with decoding, word recognition, spelling and reading fluency. If your child is getting specialized instruction through an IEP at school, it’s likely he’ll be taught these methods as well.

While there are no medications or medical treatments for dyslexia, studies show brain activity in people with dyslexia can change after they get proper tutoring. And scientists are learning more all the time. There is even a typeface [https://themighty.com/2014/11/christian-boer-invents-font-to-help-people-with-dyslexia-read/] that’s helping dyslexics differentiate more clearly between similar-looking letters. Understood.org is also an invaluable resource for children and people with dyslexia. But above all, early detection is one of the best things you can do for a child with dyslexia.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of worklifeparent.com, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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