Seven Things Parents Would Like Their Child's Pediatrician To Know About Dyslexia

Wednesday, March 15, 2017






Seven Things Parents Wish Their Child's Pediatrician Knew About Dyslexia

You trust your pediatrician with your child and for most things, they are the best resource. They can tell you if your child is growing well, if their diet is healthy, and they are there when injuries or accidents occur. Sometimes, however, there are things that might come up that your pediatrician is not really an expert in. Dyslexia often falls into this category. Unless your pediatrician specializes in dyslexia or has taken the time to learn more, this might be a case of “parents know best”.

Many parents of children with dyslexia find themselves in the position of needing to teach their pediatrician things about the condition or how to handle their children’s needs the best way possible. I've worked with many families over the years as both classroom teacher and Orton-Gillingham tutor. It's incredibly daunting for families to begin a testing process when they suspect dyslexia in their child. Certainly, they want to have an open discussion with their child's pediatrician, but it can be frustrating when suggestions are made that simply won't work. We all now each child is unique, but their are some common threads I hear from families when they bring up the subject of dyslexia and testing with their pediatrician. 



Here are seven things parents wish their child’s pediatrician knew about dyslexia:


  1. Screen early. (as early as preschool and kindergarten). Offer the pathways to early screenings. Screening early will help to end the "Wait to fail" culture in schools.
  2. It's the most common learning disability. 1 in 5 people have it
  3. Dyslexia is on a spectrum. There are degrees of severity. 
  4. Listen to what parents tell you. This is a big one. Parents have gut instincts when it comes to their kids. Please take the time to listen to what they observe and what their concerns are. 
  5. For pediatricians to know what dyslexia is (signs and symptoms, myths, facts.) There are lots of opportunities to spread facts about dyslexia. It is still misunderstood. Having access to sites like the International Dyslexia Association is incredibly helpful.
  6. Offering to treat dyslexia like it's ADHD is the wrong approach. Even though some kids have ADHD and are dyslexic, there is no RX for treating dyslexia.
  7. Refer patients to a neuropsychologist when signs of dyslexia show up. Having names of reputable neuropsychologists to refer to can be so helpful, rather than having to search for your own.


With these things in mind, pediatricians could work more closely with parents of children with dyslexia to help meet the child’s best needs. Is there anything you would add to this list? 

Before you go, I'd love to add that although the pathway to testing and a diagnosis can be sometimes be a challenging and frustrating process, please keep your eye on the prize. It's all about kids first. Stay focused, take good notes, and meet with like-minded families who share the same goals as you. 

As an extra special thanks to my readers, I have an EXCLUSIVE promo code for only fans of The Literacy Nest. Have you heard of Nessy Reading products? They have designed web based applications and other technology tools to help improve your child's reading. They apps are FUN and engaging and I know your kids will enjoy them. Nessy has a new product called Nessy Reading and Spelling



Read more here:

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99 independent learning lessons spread over ten engaging islands employ an intensive, multisensory, and sequential method of instruction based on the highly respected and researched Orton-Gillingham approach to reading & spelling. Lessons emphasize phonemic awareness, phonics, blending, sight words, fluency, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension. Each island consists of a series of lessons composed of strategy videos reinforced with games which teach fundamental reading & spelling skills.

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