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I have a 12-year-old daughter who has shown signs of dyslexia for the past six years. She was finally tested and diagnosed through our school this year.

I also have a 15-year-old daughter who will be going into the tenth grade and is very concerned about also having symptoms of dyslexia. She has always been in honors classes and is presently in all AP classes for next year. She works extremely hard to make A’s, but struggles with spelling and her handwriting has been bad in the past (although it is improving).

She always gets a bad grade when she has to write an essay. She says she struggles at putting her thoughts together, etc. She also had trouble in geometry — she had to check the formulas over and over because she transposed numbers very easily.

She is very concerned about having to take the PSAT and SAT and worried she’ll get a bad grade on the essay portion of the test. She took the SAT in seventh grade as part of the Duke Talented Identification Program and scored very well except on the survey part.

What can I do to get her tested? Considering she makes A’s in honors classes, I doubt that the school district would readily test her. This is the problem I had with my youngest daughter. She compensated well and we had tutors, and it would take us hours to do homework, but she would make A’s. It wasn’t until this year, when she didn’t pass the standardized mandated Texas test and was failing, that the district finally tested her.

You are correct that formal testing would be the only way to clarify if your older daughter has a disability. It might be that she has learning disabilities that are reflected in a different way than with your younger daughter.

Since she is doing so well in public school, I doubt you could get these studies done there. You will have to find a private psychologist (or diagnostic team) to do the psycho-educational testing. The results will help you find out what your daughter might need. These data would be required if you requested accommodations for the PSAT or SAT.

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