I am the proud parent of an amazing 7-year-old boy. I first became suspicious of dyslexia in kindergarten. He has struggled through first grade and with outside (privately funded through my husband and I) supplementary tutoring he struggles to be ‘grade level’. The school has made it obvious they have no intention of helping him. What recommendations do you have in sequence from most important and necessary to just advise for well being? I see signs of him struggling with emotions, self concept and confidence. I do not know who to ask for help. I live in California if that changes any answers to what you may advise.


Dr. Pierson's Response: 

I'm surprised the school is not helping your child. They need to do so by federal law if he qualifies for services. You as a parent have the right to initiate a special education referral. [1]

At this point in the school year and if the tutoring is not making progress, you may want to pursue an outside evaluation, which the school could then use as part of their testing/decision-making information. You can find a list of providers at the International Dyslexia Association website. [2] Also, check out our Therapy vs. Tutoring page. [3]

The good news is that your son has you! I love that you describe him as "amazing." When I hear stories from successful dyslexics, many of them attribute their success to the fact that they had a parent who believed in them; this belief helped them withstand the trials and tribulations of school. You can read about some successful dyslexics [4] and you can tell their stories to your son.

I am so sorry that the school is not being more helpful. I understand that with budget constraints resources are limited—but the children should not suffer. Let me know if you make any progress.