You may first bring up your concerns with your child's pediatrician or family doctor. To ensure that another problem isn't at the root of your child's reading difficulties, the doctor may refer your child to:
- A specialist, such as an eye doctor (ophthalmologist)
- A health care professional trained to evaluate hearing loss (audiologist)
- A doctor who specializes in brain and nervous system disorders (neurologist)
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Make a list of any symptoms that your child is experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment.
- Prepare key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of any medications, vitamins or other supplements your child is taking, including the dosages.
- Ask a family member or friend along, if possible, for support and to help you remember information.
- Make a list of questions to ask your doctor to help you make the most of your appointment.
For dyslexia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Why is my child having difficulty reading and understanding?
- What kinds of tests does he or she need?
- Should my child see a specialist?
- Can dyslexia be treated?
- Are there other diagnoses that can be associated with or confused with dyslexia?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- How quickly will we see progress?
- Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can have? Can you recommend any websites?
- Will my other children have dyslexia, too?
- What kind of help for dyslexia can I expect from my child's school?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will likely have a number of questions for you as well, such as:
Aug. 08, 2014
- When did you first notice that your child was having trouble reading? Did a teacher bring it to your attention?
- How is your child doing academically in the classroom?
- At what age did your child start talking?
- Have you tried any reading interventions? If so, which ones?
- Have you noticed any behavior problems or social difficulties you suspect may be linked to your child's trouble reading?
- Has your child had any vision problems?
- Can you describe your child's diet, including caffeine and sugar consumption?
- NINDS dyslexia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dyslexia/dyslexia.htm. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Joint statement — Learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision. Pediatrics. 2009;124:837.
- Language-based learning disabilities. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/LBLD.htm. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- Information and resources for adolescents and adults with dyslexia — It's never too late. International Dyslexia Association. http://www.interdys.org/FactSheets.htm. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- What are the signs of dyslexia? International Dyslexia Association. http://www.interdys.org/SignsofDyslexiaCombined.htm. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- Dyslexia basics. International Dyslexia Association. http://www.interdys.org/FactSheets.htm. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and dyslexia. International Dyslexia Association. http://www.interdys.org/FactSheets.htm. Accessed June 5, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2014.
- Tervo RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2014.
- Handler SM, et al. Learning disabilities, dyslexia and vision. Pediatrics. 2011;127:e818.