Back-to-school can be a stressful time for student with dyslexia, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember that you are your child’s best advocate. Beyond that, your child is his or her own best advocate. Here are some tips for a successful start to the school year.
- Do you have a psycho-educational evaluation for your child? If he or she is in public school, the school is required to provide it. If there’s too long a waiting period to see the school or district psychologist, you can provide an outside evaluation at your own expense. Contact me for recommendations. You should expect a 15-20 page-report specific to your child, and the psychologist should sit down and go over the report with you. I recommend that you take a friend with you to take notes as this can be at times an emotional meeting. It is best to share highlighted portions of the report with your child’s teacher. The teacher may be overwhelmed to read the report in its entirety, and if you highlight the key points that would help.
- Put in the time in the beginning of the school year to introduce yourself to the teachers, specialists and psychologists who will be working with your child. Find out the best way to stay in touch with the teacher about your child: phone, email, in person?
- Be assertive about your child’s needs, but also respectful of the teacher’s time and ask how you can be of assistance.
- Advocate for multisensory education in your child’s classroom, additional time to complete tasks, and limited-timed tasks and projects broken down into chunks. Provide your child’s teacher with resources if he or she doesn’t know about multisensory education.
- Remind your child to advocate for him/herself. By speaking up and getting needed help, other students in the class can benefit, too.
- If you’re homeschooling, reach out to other homeschooling parents of kids with dyslexia to build a community of support.
- Encourage your child to keep engaged in one activity that bolsters his or her confidence throughout the year. Do not overwhelm your child with too many activities but allow him/her to develop natural talents and interests
- Continue to read aloud with your child every day! Alternate which of you reads aloud. If your child stumbles on a word, just provide the word with out ridicule or embarrassment.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or for advice during the school year.