Identifying Dyslexia in Summit County, CO
My first several blog posts regarding dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia were designed to simply establish a basic understanding of each disability. Reading the facts, symptoms, and challenges that all of these disabilities present makes them all seem very black and white. However, when it comes to individuals, especially your own child it never is black and white. Why is that? I will focus my attention on dyslexia today to begin to answer that question.
Well for starters the educators (i.e. teachers, principals, therapists, etc.) and medical professionals that we rely on for advice and information have varying degrees of knowledge on the subject of learning disabilities. Many feel comfortable using the term specific learning disability which is in reality not at all specific! Unfortunately when testing is done through the public school system that is as specific as the diagnosis gets aside from checkboxes that indicate which academic areas are most impacted. An actual neuropsychologist’s report identifying your child with dyslexia is so much more empowering for you as a parent and an advocate for your child in the public school system. When a child is identified with dyslexia by a neuropsychologist their specific neurological strengths and weaknesses will also be identified at the same time. This information is what truly counts for effective remediation to happen and for appropriate accommodations to be put in place at school.
Secondly, students with dyslexia are average or above average in intelligence. Those kids that are above average are often the toughest to identify signs and symptoms in because they have found very creative and effective ways to compensate for the challenges they experience when reading and spelling. In addition, if they manage to “keep up” or at least aren’t falling too far behind their peers, then little to no additional services will even be implemented in the classroom.
Finally, an actual identification of dyslexia is costly, time consuming, and may require a significant amount of travel to get access to. Once the challenge to get properly identified is overcome, then what? It is important to find support within your community. Your number one priority is to find help for your own child. A byproduct of this can also be to help the other 17.5% of children and families who are in need of similar services. Believe me you are not alone in the challenges you face but there is strength in the support you can get from knowledgeable professionals, fellow parents, other dyslexic children, adolescents, and adults.
In our community of Summit County I am looking for more to come alongside as we grow together in knowledge and support for our children. We are fortunate to be part of the Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. They host many great events that are valuable to attend to expand your knowledge, get questions answered, meet other parents, and begin to build your network of support. Many of these events take place in Denver but the people you meet will just be a phone call away once you have made that initial connection. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you live here in Summit County. You can also go straight to the IDA-RMB Branch website: http://dyslexia-rmbida.org/