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)
- Health care professional trained to evaluate hearing (audiologist)
- Doctor who specializes in brain and nervous system disorders (neurologist)
- Doctor who specializes in the central nervous system and behavior (neuropsychologist)
- Doctor who specializes in children's development abilities and behavior (developmental and behavioral pediatrician)
You may want to ask a family member or friend along, if possible, for support and to help you remember information.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment:
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list of:
- Any symptoms your child is experiencing and the ages when symptoms were first noticed, including any symptoms that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
- Any medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements your child is taking, including the dosages
- Questions to ask your doctor to help you make the most of your appointment
Questions to ask your doctor may include:
- What do you think is the cause of my child's difficulty with reading and understanding?
- Are there other diagnoses that can be associated with or confused with dyslexia?
- What kinds of tests does my child need?
- Should my child see a specialist?
- How is dyslexia treated?
- How quickly will we see progress?
- Should other family members be tested for dyslexia, too?
- What sources of assistance or support do you recommend?
- Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can have? Can you recommend any websites?
- Are there any local educational resources for dyslexia?
Feel free to ask other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over any points you want to focus on. Your doctor may ask:
- 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?
July 22, 2017
- Dyslexia. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/learning-and-developmental-disorders/dyslexia. Accessed June 8, 2017.
- Hamilton SS. Reading difficulty in children: Clinical features and evaluation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 12, 2017.
- Hamilton SS. Reading difficulty in children: Interventions. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed June 12, 2017.
- Handler SM, et al. Joint technical report ― Learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision. Pediatrics. 2011;127:e818.
- Information and resources for adolescents and adults with dyslexia — It's never too late. International Dyslexia Association. https://dyslexiaida.org/adolescents-and-adults-with-dyslexia-fact-sheet/. Accessed June 12, 2017.
- Specific learning disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed June 19, 2017.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 5, 2017.