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A Parent’s Guide to Dyslexia

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Your child has just been diagnosed with dyslexia. Now what?
The idea of dyslexia can be pretty scary at first, for both you and your child. You probably have a lot of questions. What does this mean for my child? Is there something wrong with his brain? Will he be able to succeed in school? Will he ever read well?

And the most pressing question: What’s next? What do you do now?

The first step is to take a deep breath and relax. The truth is: your child’s brain is healthy. Dyslexia isn’t a physical illness and it certainly doesn’t mean your child isn’t smart. Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to interpret symbols and process certain information. It can’t be cured, but once identified, there are effective treatment options.

Identifying dyslexia early on is important. Many people with dyslexia can go undiagnosed for most of their lives, leading to a loss of self-esteem and problems in school and work. But with early intervention, you can help your child come up with new ways to learn so that they can lead a rich, happy life.

Help is available
The good news is that you’re not alone. Dyslexia is well known and there are plenty of resources out there to help you prepare your child for school and beyond. While there isn’t one perfect solution for every person with dyslexia, many successful reading strategies have already been developed. The next step is accessing the wealth of information out there to help both you and your child, including:

  • The teachers at your child’s school. Teachers are a going to be your partner in treating your child’s dyslexia. Schedule a meeting to discuss the different options available, which may include remedial instruction, one-on-one tutoring, or special day classes.
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities. The NCLD website has informative videos, helpful articles, and free toolkits and e-books that answer some of the questions you may be having about your child’s learning disability. The NCLD also sponsors programs and events to connect parents and educators with essential resources and teaching tools.
  • The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. This research group offers resources for parents and educators, reading lists for your child, policy and advocacy information, creative works by children with dyslexia, and an inspiring list of “successful dyslexics.”

By taking action now, you can help your child build the skills and confidence necessary to be a successful reader. You may have questions about your child’s learning disability for years to come, and that’s a good thing! Learning about dyslexia is crucial to helping your child succeed.

To learn more, visit the National Center for Learning Disabilities website at www.ncld.org and the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity at www.dyslexia.yale.edu

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