Dyslexia can be a frightening topic for parents who have school-aged children. Parents may insist that their children are late readers or that they will catch up with peers when given enough time to practice.
We know that early intervention for dyslexia is quite important. It allows children with this common learning disability to develop reading and word decoding skills as they grow in the classroom — and the opportunity to better understand themselves.
How Dyslexia Affects Children in Elementary School
Spotting elementary school children with dyslexia in the classroom is often difficult. They may show a variety of symptoms or be suffering in silence. Alternatively, they could act out due to frustration. Consider the following signs:
- Trouble rhyming, recognizing letters, and sounding out words.
- Acting silly or confrontational when asked to demonstrate reading skills in the classroom — or simply refusing to read out loud.
- Missing questions on tests that seem obvious to other students.
- Experiencing mood problems during the school day and developing low self-esteem.
Tips for Talking to Parents About a Dyslexia Assessment
Telling parents that their child is falling behind in school is never easy. Disclosing that you suspect dyslexia can cause several reactions in parents, including denial and anger. To soothe parents’ fears and create a logical plan for the future, consider the following tips:
Use Compassion, but Do Not Downplay the Problem
Even if you know a student is behind, never make parents fearful for their child’s future. Similarly, do not minimize the effects of the child’s potential disorder.
Dyslexia can be scary and frustrating for parents and kids — but it is a highly treatable learning disorder. Do your best to approach the subject in a factual yet compassionate manner to ensure that the parents listen and comprehend what you are saying.
Frame Early Intervention in a Positive Light
Early intervention materials include evaluations to determine the child’s letter and phonics recognition. They can also assess the child’s reading level and comprehension skills. This child may visit the school psychologist or a reading specialist to determine if a learning disability such as dyslexia is at the root of their reading struggle.
A thorough, standardized assessment such as the Tests of Dyslexia (TOD™) is the first comprehensive, research-based assessment of its kind. The TOD™, authored by experienced dyslexia researchers, contains early screeners for dyslexia symptoms beginning at age five. Later, you may use it as a comprehensive diagnostic tool for grades one through 12 — and even into adulthood.
Find Scientifically Valid Assessment Materials at WPS Publish
If you suspect a child you know is struggling with dyslexia, don’t wait to seek a diagnosis. Use the appropriate Tests of Dyslexia (TOD™) today for a comprehensive dyslexia test to help children gain confidence and develop their reading skills as early as possible. Reach out to WPS to learn more about assessments that will help students succeed in school and graduation.