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Expert Q&A

My child was tested in kindergarten for dyslexia but they didn’t find anything. What should I do now that he is in 3rd grade and still struggling with reading and writing?

It is sometimes challenging to detect learning difficulties in very young children. When your child was tested in kindergarten, he may have been able to compensate for his learning challenges to the point where there was little discrepancy between his ability and achievement. In order to be diagnosed with a learning disability, and therefore receive special education services, a child must exhibit both a processing deficit and a discrepancy between what he is capable of doing and what he is actually achieving in school.

As your child gets older, it may be increasingly difficult for him to compensate, so the gap between his ability and achievement may be widening. If your child does have a learning disability, it will be easier to detect now than when he was in kindergarten. The following articles describe characteristics common to children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. You may want to look through them to see if you recognize some of your child’s challenges in these descriptions:

If you see some of these characteristics in your child, you may want to request that his school give him an educational evaluation. It is within your rights as a parent to request this free evaluation and to have a vote throughout the evaluation process.

The educational evaluation will help you and the school better understand your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and how best he learns. The following articles will give you a clearer idea about the evaluation process:

Please be sure to share any of the interventions that you have been trying at home and the concerns you have. The following articles may give you some ideas of how you can make the most of the local screening meeting and subsequent meetings throughout this process:

Your willingness to help your child at home will go a long way in giving him additional academic and emotional support, as well as the comfort in knowing that he is not alone in his struggles. This next group of articles suggest ways in which you and your child can work together at home:

Remember that you can be the strongest and most knowledgeable advocate for your son, so trust your instincts and don’t give up! The sooner your son receives the assistance he needs and the quicker you and his teachers can work together to develop a plan for helping him at home and school, the better his outcome for truly reaching his academic potential.

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