The identification of a child with dyslexia is a difficult time for parents and teachers. We suggest that teachers can help parents learn more about their child’s difficulty in the following ways:
- Teachers can share information about the student’s specific areas of weakness and strength and help parents realize the underlying causes of their child’s difficulty.
This conversation can also include information about how to help their child use areas of strength to support areas of weakness.
- It is critical to help parents get clear about what dyslexia is and is not.
Sharing the common misconceptions and the correct information found in Table 1 with parents may help clear up any confusion that may exist.
- Early intervention with intense, explicit instruction is critical for helping students avoid the lifelong consequences of poor reading.
Engaging parents early in the process of identifying what programs and services are best for their child will ensure greater levels of success and cooperation between home and school.
- There are many organizations devoted to supporting individuals with RD and their families.
Accessing the knowledge, support, and advocacy of these organizations is critical for many families.
- Finally, teachers can often best help families by simply listening to the parents and their concerns for their children.
Understanding a disability label and what that means for the future of their child is a very emotional process for parents and many times teachers can help by providing a sympathetic ear as well as information.
Imaging research has demonstrated that the brains of people with dyslexia show different, less efficient, patterns of processing (including under and over activation) during tasks involving sounds in speech and letter sounds in words. Understanding this has the potential to increase the confidence teachers feel when designing and carrying out instruction for their students with dyslexia.