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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?

Question: 

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?

Answer: 

It is often 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 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 become increasingly difficult for him to compensate, and the gap between his ability and potential achievement may widen. 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. Look through them to see if you recognize any 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 a 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 he learns best. The following articles will give you a clearer understanding of 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 insight as to how you can make the most of the local screening meeting and subsequent meetings in this process:

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

Remember that you are 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 work together to develop a plan for home and school, the closer he will be to fully realizing his academic potential.

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase