If you suspect your child has dyslexia, it's never too early to do something about it. Talk to your child's teacher and educate yourself about the laws that govern special education. The earlier you intervene, the better your child's chances of becoming a fluent reader. --By Sora Song
Most parents turn to the school to evaluate their child. But if the school refuses or you disagree with its assessment, find an outside evaluator. The International Dyslexia Association (800-ABC-D123) can help you find a tester.
Create an IEP
If your child is found eligible for special education, the next step is to draw up an Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP. It should set specific goals for progress over the school year and detail such educational needs as books on tape or oral exams.
Get at-Home Help
Computer-based reading programs have recently shown great promise in helping children read. Good ones that promote phonemic awareness and fluency include the Read, Write & Type! Learning System, Read Naturally and ReadIt.
If the IEP goals aren't being met, you may want to provide private instruction or tutoring. Keep tabs on your child's progress. Some parents have hired lawyers and got their district to reimburse them for the costs of extra education.
Don't let your child become defined by his or her dyslexia. These children need to be encouraged to pursue other activities and hobbies--sports, music, art--and praised when they excel, especially in those areas for which they have a passion.
You need information to be your child's chief advocate. Susan Hall and Louisa Moats' Parenting a Struggling Reader is a good place to start. If you have Internet access, check out interdys.org ldanatl.org ldonline.org ld.org and schwablearning.org