My Child Has Dyslexia. Now What?

Enrichment Therapies

June 13, 2023

Adult and child reading

By: Haley Hall, Learning Specialist

Receiving a dyslexia diagnosis can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! This diagnosis, while challenging, can give you a lot of answers. You may wonder what’s next now that the diagnosis has been made. 

First of all, you’ve made a huge step already. Many parents and children lose valuable time waiting to see if a child’s reading difficulties “go away” with a new teacher, new school, or even just with time. Getting to the root cause of a child’s reading difficulties is essential — and if you’ve found your child diagnosed with dyslexia, then that step is complete.

Here are some suggestions for you as you navigate what’s next:

Provide Your Child With Proper Support

One of the key next steps is ensuring your child has the right support to learn how to read successfully. Talk with your child’s teacher to see what kind of reading support your child receives at school. When looking at successful reading intervention, you want to see these essential factors:

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics

The instruction should focus on phonemic awareness and phonics, which should be taught explicitly and systematically. A clear sequence of instruction should be followed for concepts that are taught in an order that builds on previously mastered skills.

Strategies for Unknown Words

The student should be taught strategies for reading unknown words. A major red flag of an ineffective program is having a child guess a word based only on context or picture clues. We want children to look at the letters in the word and blend the sounds together. Children can learn to read longer words using syllable division strategies. We also want to teach children to read words that don’t follow standard phonics rules and patterns.

Reading Connected Words

Reading connected text while learning phonemic awareness and phonics skills is essential. Decodable texts are passages containing words with letter-sound patterns that the child has already mastered — these are the best form of connected text to have a child read as they will build confidence and allow the child to apply their knowledge of letter-sound relationships and shows them that they can read!

Reading Programs

Complete reading programs incorporate phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. While a child who has dyslexia will need more intense instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency, their vocabulary and comprehension skills should not be ignored. What is the point of reading if not for comprehension?

Communicate With Your Child About The Diagnosis

While ensuring your child is set up for success with the right reading instruction, you’ll also want to discuss the diagnosis with your child.

  • Tell your child that the reason for their difficulties with reading is called dyslexia.
  • Share that dyslexia is a problem people have with reading and talk about the “sea of strengths” perspective.
  • Explain to your child that this reading difficulty is caused by having a hard time pulling apart the sounds of words, confusing words that sound alike, reading aloud, spelling, and pronouncing words.
  • Reassure your child that this is a common problem. There are probably other students in their class at school who also have dyslexia. Despite this diagnosis, tell your child they will learn to read.
  • Share that many famous, successful people also have dyslexia (Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Cher, Anderson Cooper, and so many more)!
  • You may also want to consider reading some books to your child that portray main characters who have dyslexia. Here are a few of my favorites:
    • Cartwheels by Tracy S Peterson
    • Finding My Superpower by Sarah Prestidge
    • Magnificent Meg by Andra Harris
    • Fish in A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Educate Yourself 

If you find yourself digging for more information about dyslexia and want to dive deeper into this diagnosis, check out some of the following books:

  • Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
  • The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock Eide and Fernette Eide
  • The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald Davis

Stay confident! Your child can learn how to read, and with a dyslexia diagnosis, you now know that getting the right kind of support in place as soon as possible is the best thing you can do to help ensure your child’s success in reading!

Dyslexia Support From Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center

Sometimes the support a child is receiving at school is not enough. If that is the case, we strongly urge you to consider extra services. At ETLC, we utilize evidence-based dyslexia treatment practices in order to optimize reading outcomes. A multisensory, research-proven approach to reading is incorporated into each session, along with one-on-one services that identify the root issue holding your child back, and create an individualized treatment plan to help your child succeed.

Contact us for more information on how we can help with your child’s success.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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