If you suspect that your child has dyslexia, you may consider getting a complete evaluation from a qualified diagnostician. However, there are many things to consider.
1. Be sure you have learned what dyslexia REALLY is, and that you don’t happen to have any misconceptions. REVERSALS DOES NOT MEAN DYSLEXIA! Read through the warning signs page and be sure that your child has many of the symptoms. You can also visit my Dyslexia Screeners page to see if your child fits the dyslexic profile.
2. Find a licensed clinician who regularly evaluates and diagnoses dyslexia. These are generally psychologists, neuropsychologists, and some Speech and Language Pathologists. Be sure to ask if they can provide you with a DIAGNOSIS, not just a profile. Ask if they accept insurance and check with your insurance company yourself. Many insurance companies will not cover dyslexia testing, so the entire bill (which is often very costly) falls on the parents.
3. Understand what a diagnosis will provide for your child. First, many children (and adults) find a dyslexia diagnosis as a relief. For so long, they’ve thought they were just dumb. Children usually feel so much better when they understand what dyslexia is, why it causes problems with reading and spelling, and that it has nothing to do with their IQ or being smart. As far as what a diagnosis can get you in the school depends on your state. In Missouri, an outside diagnosis of dyslexia will not get your child an IEP where they will get pulled out for special reading instruction. However, it can provide the medical diagnosis necessary for a 504. This allows your child to have accommodations, such as audio books, extended time on tests, alternate testing options, not being marked off for spelling mistakes, etc. For more information on a 504, click HERE.