Advocating for Children with Dyslexia

Here's a snippet from one of Susie's presentations at the 2013 IDA Conference in New Orleans. During a discussion titled "Parenting Tips & Advocating for Children," she offered: Diagnosed Dyslexia is a specific language disorder, and your child qualifies for a 504 plan and/or IEP. Public schools MUST provide a psycho-educational evaluation if there is suspicion of a learning disability, but often school districts have one school psychologist to work with the entire district, so if you can afford it, it can be quicker and more thorough to get an outside evaluation.

Psycho-ed evaluations vary in price depending on your location. In Western North Carolina, they run about $1,500, but in other areas they can be $5,000 and upward. A thorough evaluation takes an average of 6-8 hours and can be broken into chunks depending on the child’s age. The report should be 15-20 pages and specific to your child, and the psychologist should sit down and go over the report with you. The school MUST comply with the psychologist if the psychologist is licensed.

If you have not had a full psycho-educational evaluation, you will need one to get services for your child. Then they should be updated every 3-4 years. Be sure that you use a psychologist who has expertise in varied learning styles. I have a list of psychologists we recommend, and if I do not know a psychologist in your area, I will try to help you find a good one.