Are you looking for professional intervention services? Here are some resources that can help.

Depending on your age (or that of your child), you may want to begin by having a conversation with your physician (or your child's pediatrician or teacher). For the preschool and school-age child or teen, your public school system is a good place to start. Locate information from your state's Special Education Department at the national Department of Education website. You can also visit the Office of Special Education.

When securing intervention services, be sure to ascertain the training and experience of the professional. You will want someone who has both expertise (i.e., formal training) and experience with treating language-based learning disabilities, because that is what dyslexia is. Many times professionals do not understand the important role that spoken language plays in learning to read, spell, and write and, therefore, do not assess it. Regardless of age, it is essential that we gather baseline data relative to one's oral language skills.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about the professional's skill set. You will want to know that he or she has had education in understanding the components of oral language and literacy, how to diagnose dyslexia, and how to develop a systematic treatment approach based on best practices. Ask him to describe someone simliar to you or your child with whom he has worked, the tests administered, treatment approach used, and the outcomes attained.

In addition to your medical practitioner or school personnel, working with an academic therapist is another a good place to start. They can receive certification from a member of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), a non-profit that offers a rigorous accreditation program in MSLE, i.e., Orton-Gillingham-based approaches. The Academic Language Therapy Association also offers certification emphasizing reading, spelling, handwriting, and written expression. The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practioners and Educators accredits programs and certifies individuals in the Orton-Gillingham approach. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the credentialing organization of speech-language pathologists (SLP), who have expertise in understanding spoken language. You may find the rare SLP like Dr. Pierson with advanced training in reading disability and who can also diagnose dyslexia.

If you are in or near Southeast Michigan and need an evaluation for a suspected language disorder or dyslexia, you can contact Dr. Joanne Pierson at

You can also search for providers by state on the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) website.