My son is six years old. He has been working with a speech pathologist since age 2. He has definitely improved, but still meets with her twice a week. He was enrolled in the Early On program, as well as a preschool program with the public schools for 3 years. Last year he was in Kindergarten full day.. He will be headed to first grade next year and will be working with the Literacy Specialist at his school. Since he attends an independent/private school, services are provided for his IEP through the public schools on a minimal level. We have determined that keeping him at a school with 11-13 kids in his class and a literacy specialist whom he can see 1-2 a week by himself was the better fit. His older sister was diagnosed this past year with dyslexia. I’m not sure when to have my son tested, but believe that he could also be dyslexic. However, coupled with the speech delay—I’m worried. I was reading the website and thought that you may have some suggestions or thoughts on how we should proceed. I’m not sure if it’s too early to have him tested for dyslexia or if there are special tutors/things we should be doing now because he also has a speech delay.

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

To cut to the chase -- it is not too early to have your son assessed. In fact, you are getting to this at the right time. One, he's got a couple of red flags -- speech delay and family history. Here are a couple of pieces about those topics on getting a diagnostic assessment and trusting your gut. One of the challenges is finding someone who has expertise in assessing and diagnosing dyslexia in a 6 year old. (It has been my experience that the schools won't assess reading disorder until students are older.) Your son should then receive structured literacy intervention, which is what I am assuming your daughter is getting. Let me know if you have other questions. Bottom line -- it is not too early. The literature is very clear that the earlier we can identify children with dyslexia and intervene, the better the outcomes.