dyslexia consists of using educational tools to
enhance the ability to read. Medicines and counseling usually aren't used to treat
dyslexia. An important part of treatment is educating yourself about the
condition. The earlier dyslexia is recognized and addressed, the better.
Starting treatment when a child is young can improve reading and may even
prevent reading problems in the first years of school.2 But reading will likely not ever be easy for a person with
When a child age 3 years or older has been diagnosed
with dyslexia, federal law requires that public school personnel create an
Individualized Education Program (IEP) that's tailored to the child's needs.
The first step in developing the IEP is talking with your child's school to
create a treatment team made up of you, the teacher, and other school
personnel, including school counselors and special education teachers.
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Your child's personalized IEP will detail specific disabilities,
appropriate teaching methods, and goals and objectives for the academic year.
It is evaluated at least once a year, with changes made based on your child's
progress. Parents have the right to appeal if they don't agree with their
child's IEP. Preparing children for further education, employment, and
independent living is also required by law. This should start no later than age
If you seek special education assistance for your child, it's handy to keep copies of:
According to a comprehensive U.S. government study on how
children learn to read, a combination of educational methods is the most
effective way to teach children to read. These methods include teaching
phonics—making sure that the beginning reader understands how letters are
linked to sounds (phonemes) to form words. Guided oral reading, in which the
student reads aloud with guidance and feedback, is also important for
developing reading fluency. The child must clearly understand the instructions
being given, and the instructions must be repeatable or systematic in order to
improve the child's reading abilities.3
Depending on the severity of your child's dyslexia, you may
want to have a teacher's aide or tutor available to help your child with
If school staff members suggest that your child be held back a grade (grade retention), talk to your doctor or another professional about your options. Grade retention may not help your child any better than other methods.
It is important to know
that dyslexia is a lifelong condition. Even though early treatment during childhood
can help, your child will likely always have to make an extra effort to read.