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Is your child struggling in school; is your child falling behind in reading, writing, or spelling? Does your child have trouble remembering the names for things or sounding out words? Does your child take a long time to complete assignments and become frustrated easily? Maybe your child has already been diagnosed with ADHD, but you have wondered if there is something else affecting performance in the classroom? If you or your child’s teacher has concerns, it is never too early to seek evaluation. We specialize in understanding and helping people with learning disabilities, such as Dyslexia.
How Can Assessment of Dyslexia Help Me or My Child?
Formal assessment is essential in identifying whether or not your child has Dyslexia, identifying your child’s areas of strength, and determining what strategies and resources are most likely to benefit your child. Often, testing is the best way to distinguish learning disabilities from other, often co-occurring conditions (such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders). Formal diagnosis can aid parents in advocating for their child’s needs in the school system and can aid your family physician in decisions about medical treatments/interventions.
What Approaches Do You Use to Assess Dyslexia?
The assessment process is typically a comprehensive one involving interviews with parents, teachers, and other providers, behavioral ratings, and one-on-one testing with your child. Your child will be asked to do a variety of things, such as work with blocks, answer questions about what words mean, remember things, read passages, solve math problems, and write sentences. We are knowledgeable about different approaches to understanding Dyslexia, including the Orton Gillingham and Lindamood Bell Approaches. Evaluations typically takes place over several days, and we will take care to make it as comfortable as possible for you and for your child.
What Happens After the Evaluation?
After the evaluation, you will receive a written report that outlines information such as your child’s history, test results, diagnoses, and recommendations. You can choose to share this information with your child’s school, the Area Education Agency (AEA), and your child’s physician. You and your child’s psychologist will likely talk about a plan for addressing your concerns about your child’s learning. If you are seeking special education services, you, your child’s school, and the AEA will likely meet to discuss your concerns.
Will You Work with My Child’s School?
Your child’s psychologist may collaborate and communicate with teachers, special education instructors, school psychologists, and the Area Education Agency (AEA). Gathering information, sharing results, discussing how to meet your child’s needs in the classroom, and attending IEP/504 meetings are some of the most common ways in which we might work with your child’s school.
Are you involved with the Dyslexia Community?
Dr. Anderson and the psychologists at Hope Springs are involved with state and local Dyslexia groups, including Decoding Dyslexia. We have presented information to these meetings and help support these groups as much as we can. We strongly believe that when children with learning differences do better, we all do better.
I’m Not Sure… Isn’t this the same testing that my school gives my child?
Your psychologist will talk with you about any prior testing your child may have had. School-wide, district assessments, and national tests (e.g., NWEA, Iowa Assessments) do not take the place of individually-administered, standardized assessments in identifying learning disabilities.
I’m ready to move forward, what do I do now?