Dyslexia Help for Parents: Do’s and Don’ts

If your child is having difficulty reading or you have reason to think that he or she may have dyslexia, I have a few suggestions listed below:


dyslexia help for parents dosDyslexia Help for Parents: Do’s

…contact a qualified professional

Some – but not all – speech-language pathologists, psychologists, and clinical educators are qualified to evaluate and treat dyslexia. Your child’s clinician will provide you and your child with a wealth of information and resources in addition to vital treatment.


…get a professional evaluation

I discussed dyslexia diagnosis in this post. We know that reading problems, whatever the cause, rarely correct themselves. An evaluation by a qualified professional will set your child on the path to effective treatment.


…act as soon as possible

Prompt evaluation and treatment mean that your child has a better chance of catching up to essential grade-level reading skills and staying current with classwork. Without intervention, a child who’s struggling to read in the 2nd grade is highly likely to still be a struggling reader in the 7th grade; children who are struggling readers in middle and high school are at much higher risk for emotional and behavioral problems.


…work with your clinician to select the treatment and technology that’s right for your child

Many people and products claim to help or treat dyslexia. Few truly do. The tools and treatments must be appropriate to your child’s unique needs. Your child’s clinician is the person best qualified to recommend treatment and assistive technologies.


Dyslexia Help for Parents: Don'tsDyslexia Help for Parents: Don’ts

…rely on your child’s school to solve the problem

While teachers are trained to recognize and assist children with mild reading problems, they are not qualified to diagnose or treat dyslexia. School programs can often help children who have a few weak spots, but most schools can not provide the individualized treatment that dyslexic children require.


…blame yourself or your child’s teachers, grandparents, babysitters, or nanny

Dyslexia is caused by differences in the organization of the brain’s circuitry, not by something that someone did or didn’t do. (Read more about the definition of dyslexia here.)


…punish your child for his or her inability to read

Again, dyslexia is not caused by laziness or lack of motivation. Dyslexic people are often extremely bright and would read if they could (and will, if they get prompt treatment).


…rely on off-the-shelf reading programs

There are many terrific programs available for children who are weak readers, but they are simply not designed for the unique brain processing of a dyslexic child.


…look for help from an optometrist

Dyslexia is not a vision problem. When children have difficulty reading, many parents automatically think there’s something wrong with their child’s eyes. Some optometrists claim that vision therapy cures dyslexia; however, there is no credible research showing that vision therapy helps dyslexia. I’ll address this issue in more depth in a future post.


…expect a quick fix

It will take time for your dyslexic child to master the speech and language skills necessary to read at grade level. Average treatment time for most children is two to three years; with a skilled clinician and daily practice, such as that provided by Lexercise, it may be possible to reduce treatment time to about a year.


To find a qualified clinician or to get answers to your questions about dyslexia or language-learning disorders, call 1-919-747-4557 or e-mail us at  info@lexercise.com.

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Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC

MA/CCC - Cofounder and CKO

Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.