Personal & Yet Needed Conversation. Do You Think Your Child Is Dyslexic Or Has A Learning Disability?? Read THIS THERE IS HELP

I have gone back and forth for a long time about writing about this, the last couple months I have had so many impression it is something that there is such a lack of information for and people almost feel paralyzed and don’t know what to do when there child has some learning disability. This is an emotional post for me. Months ago we have learned that our sweet Beckham might also be struggling with Dyslexia and ADD like my self, for some of you think might not be a big deal but for me it devastated me brought  up feeling about my self and struggles I have had and devastated thinking Beckham will struggle in the same way I have. so I am writing this hoping that those of you who are not educated can see a little more into the brain and life of someone struggling with a learning disability such as dyslexia.

Also to help other children who might be struggling and you might not realize why. They could have undiagnosed dyslexia or a learning disability. About 10% of the population has Dyslexia. Yet there are so many undiagnosed cases that a lot of people don’t figure it out until they are an adult so they really don’t know how many there are. That can range from a minor case to a severe case. Also even if you child does not have dyslexia they could just have a learning disability that needs a little extra attention and need help how to learn in there own way.

What I want people to know about those with Dyslexia.

Dyslexia is not a disease. It’s a condition that you are born with, and it often runs in families. People with dyslexia are not stupid or lazy. Life is actually much more difficult for people with dyslexia. They have brilliant minds, but they’re hard to focus. They work very hard to overcome their learning problems.

Dyslexia is much more than just having difficulty reading, writing, and numbers. We see the world in a completely different way then you, communicate differently. Some people describe it as a lifestyle challenge, others as a lifestyle curse, because it affects almost all aspects of their lives.

I am Dyslexic for those of you who do not know. I know some of my post drive you nuts! My grammer is off and I might not write in the proper and correct way you would like me to. I never learned and I am doing my best and trying to teach my self as a adult. I have good days and bad days with it.  I know some of you think why would you be a blogger when you are not good at reading and have horrible grammer.  You are totally right I asked my self that all the time. Yet here I am. I wanted to start my blog YEARS ago but never did, affraid of what others would think of me or what they would say about me. Growing up being bullied i try shy away from people to an extent ( I am getting over that now the older I get)  Then a couple years ago decided  life is about challanges and over coming them doing things that are outside of your comfert zone to grow right? Nothing in life has come easy to me I have always had to work hard for everything I have done. I am so thankful for that now as an adult. I also now want to be able to help others.

I have had a hand full of situations just with in the last month of moms overwhelmed with what to do with there child. They are behind in school and are not getting the help they need, they also don’t know what to do or where to turn. So because of this I have felt to write a post about it in hope to help even one child out there who is feeling overwhelmed frustrated and not understood. Also to the parent who is feeling those same feelings and know knowing what is wrong or what to do. Often time chidren who are not getting the help they need it can cause so much anger and frustration and cause major behijor issue when it is just a learning disability they have and are not getting the proper help.

My journey with dyslexia has been a challenging one for me. I was diagnosed when I was in 5th grade years ago as you can imaging there was not a lot out there to offer me. Only with in the last 10 years have them made real progress on how to teach a child with dyslexia. Yet I needed to learn very different from everyone else back then but was expected to learn as everyone else did. I don’t think the same as you do I process information very differently. I was expected to be able to do task in school the same as everyone else but could not. That is why i still struggle I never learned the basics well.

That being said I got made fun of a lot. My mom found out when I was in second grade how mean kids were to me so she pulled me from school. They just always though I would catch up but by second grade the realized I was not catching up and getting teased so bad they knew they needed to figure out what was going on. They then took me in to figure out what was going on with lots of test I was finally diagnosed with ADD. I was put on medication to help me and that changed my personality so much that my mom knew there was a better way for me. I was also put in programs as school to help children with learning disability, well mine is not just a learning disability we learn VERY differently so it was not much help to me as you can imagine. th  My mom did not realize that that was dyslexic until I was in 5th grade. So growing up I always though I was stupid and would never be good enough. I had the most amazing loving parents who tried to get me all they help they could and what was out there but there just was really nothing. I was thankfuly taken off the medication and put on a healthy diet and supplant regiment to help me. (My mom was a nurse and has been a whole food nutrisionest for 20 plus years now) They tried private toutring and everything else no one was trained though back then on how to educate someone with dyslexia. I am thankful for my parent to always tell me I can do anything I want to do its just going to take me a LOT more work then everyone else and thats ok. Everyone has there challenges in life and this was my big one.

Finding out Beckham could have the same problems as me it devastated me. It brought up and overwhelming sense of sadness and brining up all my trials and thinking of him having the same ones recked me. As a parent you don’t ever want to see your children struggle especially in the ways you have. I think I put so much of me on him that it really put me in a bad place. I know I have to be there for him and get him the help he needs. So began the hours and hour and hours of research of how I can help him to how not to have the same trials I have had.

If you think your child is struggling then below I am listing great articles for you and steps to take to help them. YOU are your child’s advocate if YOU don’t take steps to help them who will? We are all special and younique and different and thats the wonderful thing but if you have a learning disability you can often grow up feel stupid, dumb, not good enough. That is not the case at all some just need a little extra help and special help to learn how to navigate our own brains. 

Unfortanly there is not a lot out there in the school systems and you will either have to help them your self or higher a private tutor that specialized in teaching children with dyslexia. This is what we are doing for Beckham. I will list below all my contacts I am using for you as well.

Children have a 50% chance of having dyslexia if one parent has it. And a 100% chance if both parents have it. They also say boys have a 75% change of getting it and girls only a 25% if one parent has it.

Dyslexia ranges from mild to severe. Around 40% of people with dyslexia also have ADD to ADHD. And those with dyslexia use about 5 times more energy to complete mental tasks. How insane is that so many next time you know someone who is struggling be a little more sympathetic to them and loving.

Things to know about those with Dyslexia.

“They will always have dyslexia.

They can learn to read and spell, but they will always have dyslexia. To make life easier, a font and a dictionary specifically for people with dyslexia are on the way.

The font is designed to avoid confusion, and add clarity, while the dictionary will favor meaning over alphabetical order.”

They find details exhausting.

Because their brain is less efficient at processing letters and sounds, it has to work harder—much harder. So any time spent reading, using numbers, or focusing on details is really, really exhausting.”

They function differently on different days.

Some days they seem to function better than others, and can appear to be improving. Other days, it’s like everything is getting worse. There’s no reason, and no pattern. It just is.”

“They are highly creative.

Their ability to view the world from all perspectives makes them highly creative. They can come up with wildly creative ideas, partly because they’re not constrained by the laws of physics, mathematical logic, or the impossible.”

“They see things that others don’t.

Like words moving on the page, or even off the page, and letters flipping about. You know how challenging it can be to read letters and numbers in captcha? Imagine reading a whole book like that. Or reading a book through a magnifying lens that a child is holding, and moving about. They can even see the word cat more than 40 different ways”

“They get overwhelmed by what they see.

They see so many possibilities that their thoughts can become garbled and distorted. It’s hard to sort through all that information and work out what’s important or appropriate. Without the ability to filter, this special gift becomes a tragic, confusing, disability.”

“They can experience thoughts as reality.

They can fully believe they’ve told you something, that they haven’t, or swear that you haven’t told them something that you have.

Often they express themselves in such a unique way that their message hasn’t come across coherently. And they may not realize that this aspect of their communication is part of their dyslexia.”

“They think in pictures instead of words.

Not surprisingly, they tend to be highly visual, think in pictures, and utilize visual aids to help them plan and organize their lives. Rather than using self-talk, their thought processes are more subliminal. Most people with dyslexia are not even aware that they do this.”

“They use their brain differently.

People with dyslexia don’t use their brain the same way that most of us do. Their brain underutilizes the left hemisphere—the area required for reading—and the bridge of tissue between the two sides of the brain (the corpus callosum) doesn’t function in the same way. So, their brain doesn’t always direct information to the correct place for processing.”

“They are more likely to have ADD.

People with dyslexia are more likely to have ADD. About 40% of people with dyslexia have ADD, and 60% of people with ADD have dyslexia”

“They often have low self-esteem.

People with dyslexia are just as intelligent as the rest of you. And they’re fully aware that other people can read and write much more easily than they can. So they feel stupid compared to other people.

If you think suspect your child is stuggling or has these signs i would highly suggest you take steps to help them figure out what the problem is. There is nothing more frustrating for a child then people thinking your stupid or slow or being told they are not trying hard enough or they are just lazy when it actually is a learning disability that need to be addressed and needs special care and help.

I am going to show you a quick list of what to do below is more detail with number and who exactly to contact

1-call your school special education district ask them for who you need to talk to about getting and IEP and a 504 plan for your child. It will most likely be the schools physoligist you will be speaking to. You can even go a step further that is below.

Tell them you think your child has a learning disability and you want to see what is going on. (Do not say you think its dyslexia Some schools will say sorry there is not much we can do for you) You want them to test your child and see where they are starting at. So just say learning disability.

This will take the school weeks to do with your child. They will do test with them usually over 2-4 weeks at least.

A physical exam can be done to rule out any medical problems, including hearing and vision tests. Then a school psychologist or learning specialist should give several standardized tests to measure language, reading, spelling, and writing abilities. Sometimes a test of thinking ability (IQ test) is given. Some people with dyslexia have trouble in other school skills, like handwriting and math, or they may have trouble paying attention or remembering things. If this is the case, more testing will be done.

If you want a clinical diagnose then you will need seek out a child psychologists that you can contact for a legal diagnosis. unfortunately this is also not covered under insurance average cost I am seeing is between $450-$700 for this. Your child will want this if they are in jounior high high scholl or collage. A big thing it does it makes it so they dont have to have times test. For someone with dyslexia times test are literlly the wrost thing.

Diet is key for children with ADD and dyslexia. If you feeding there bodies with junk food it does not help. We notice a hug difference in Beckham’s behavior and metal state of mind from when he’s eating a healthy diet or not. best thing for kids is a high protein and fat diet. stay away from aftifical foods and  food’s with artificial food coloring, and sugar as much as possible. A lot of kids also need to add EFS’s as a supplement into their diet.

Also get your child a reading tracker. Something similar to this READING STRIP Ready about Colored overlays for dyslexia children here. Bechams teacher would have him take a test with white paper and he would do horrible then she would print it on blue paper and he would get about 70% more right answers then on the white paper. gives some great ideas on good food for them to be eating.

Diet and behavior go hand in hand so it’s no surprise that many of the symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity and inability to focus can sometimes be improved by changing the way your child eats. Studies have shown that eating foods high in protein, controlling sugar intake, and avoiding artificial additives can go a long way towards managing ADHD naturally. The following foods are kid-friendly and offer nutrients that are commonly known to improve cognitive function.

Walnuts (Omega 3’s): Studies show that Omega-3’s help control behavior and improve memory. Surprisingly, Walnuts are a great source of Omega 3’s and are perfect for snacking. They can also be used to replace less healthful ingredients in recipes by adding them to breads, salads, and casseroles.  Or try including them in your favorite cookie recipe which will help to add protein and trace minerals such as magnesium, manganese and phosphorus to an already delicious treat.

Crab Cakes (Zinc): Seafood like crab and lobster are rich in the mineral zinc. Zinc is important to cognitive function and plays a key role in modulating spatial learning and memory. Try working zinc into your child’s diet by making crab cakes once a week for dinner. This gluten free crab cake recipeis a great option for restricted diets! Roasted pumpkin seeds are another good source of zinc and can be easily incorporated into your child’s diet for lunch or as a healthy snack.  Other good sources are beef, spinach, cashews and beans. It’s also important to note that too much zinc has been found to have the opposite effect – actually impairing memory and learning.

Bananas (Magnesium): Foods rich in magnesium like bananas and black beans can help with sleep and relaxation. A well rested, calm child can concentrate much better than one who has been tossing and turning all night or who is irritable, weak and exhausted – common symptoms of magnesium deficiency.  That concentration leads to better focus and memory. Research has also suggested that B vitamins (especially vitamin B6) promote the absorption of magnesium in the gut.

Spinach (Iron): A 2004 study showed that iron deficiencies in children may contribute to ADHD symptoms and therefore iron supplementation may result in improved attention for children with ADHD. Spinach is a commonly known source of iron and packs a double punch in that it is also rich in magnesium. Other iron rich foods include red meats, lentils and sesame seeds.

Citrus Fruits (Vitamin C): Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is necessary for production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is responsible for controlling attention and responding actions. Vitamin C also offers a boost to the immune system. Important to Note: Vitamin C should not be taken less than an hour before or after taking ADHD meds as it can prevent the med from being absorbed.

Peanut Butter (Protein): Foods rich in protein are key to increasing attentiveness and focus. Assuming your child does not have a peanut allergy, peanut butter is a great kid-friendly source of protein. While PB&J sandwiches are a common childhood favorite, you can also serve with celery sticks or bananas if your child is gluten-free. If your child is a picky eater, protein shakes are another option for the sensory sensitive – who usually find comfort in drinking thick drinks through a straw. Look for brands that are low in sugar and free of artificial flavors and preservatives. This peanut butter banana smoothie recipe includes spinach and is gluten-free!

Symptoms of Dyslexia

  • Dyslexia can affect spoken language, written language and language comprehension.
  • Dyslexics have trouble breaking down unfamiliar words into letter-sound segments. As a result, reading is slow and filled with errors.
  • Dyslexics require extra time and effort to process language information.
  • Dyslexics often need to be taught to look at words linearly, left-to-right.
  • Dyslexics have difficulty in learning (and remembering) the names of letters.
  • Dyslexics often fail to understand that words come apart; for example, that “batboy” can be pulled apart into “bat” and “boy” and, later on, that the word “bat” can be broken down still further and sounded out as ‘b’ ‘aaa’ ‘t’
  • Dyslexics often have a difficult time learning to associate letters with sounds, such as being unable to connect the letter b with the /b/ sound.
  • Dyslexics will sometimes make reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters; for example, the word “big” is read as “goat.”
  • Dyslexics often struggle to read small “sight” words such as “that,” “an,” “in.”
  • Dyslexics often substitute words with the same meaning for words in the text they can’t pronounce, such as “car” for “automobile.”
  • Dyslexics often omit parts of words when reading.
  • Dyslexics often have difficulty remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, and random lists.
  • Dyslexics often have an extreme difficulty learning a foreign language.

Common signs: Preschool

The following difficulties may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified testing examiner.

  • May talk later than most children
  • May have difficulty pronouncing words, i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower
  • May be slow to add new vocabulary words
  • May be unable to recall the right word
  • May have difficulty with rhyming
  • May have trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to spell and write his or her name
  • May have trouble interacting with peers
  • May be unable to follow multi-step directions or routines
  • Fine motor skills may develop more slowly than in other children
  • May have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence
  • Often has difficulty separating sounds in words and blending sounds to make words

Common signs: Kindergarten through fourth grade

The following difficulties may be associated with dyslexia if they are unexpected for the individual’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. To verify that an individual is dyslexic, he/she should be tested by a qualified testing examiner.

  • Has difficulty decoding single words (reading single words in isolation)
  • May be slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • May confuse small words – at/to, said/and, does/goes
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including:
    • Letter reversals – d for b as in, dog for bog
    • Word reversals – tip for pit
    • Inversions – m and w, u and n
    • Transpositions – felt and left
    • Substitutions – house and home
  • May transpose number sequences and confuse arithmetic signs (+ – x / =)
  • May have trouble remembering facts
  • May be slow to learn new skills; relies heavily on memorizing without understanding
  • May be impulsive and prone to accidents
  • May have difficulty planning
  • Often uses an awkward pencil grip (fist, thumb hooked over fingers, etc.)
  • May have trouble learning to tell time
  • May have poor fine motor coordination

Having my own personal struggle with school and school systems we are going a step further for Beckham. The last thing I want is for him to grow up as I did. Felling as I am dumb, stupid because I was so far behind from everyone else. Even though I was in touring and getting extra help it was not spicific for dyslexia so it was not doing me much good. They did not have specialty programs when i was growing up.  As his mom I want to be able to help him success in ever aspect of his life. If you can help your child at a young age with there disability to help them be successful it will help with all aspects of there life.

He will be going to Dyslexia Center of Utah. They specializes in children with dyslexia and helps them to learn in there way to then learn and adjust at school. This is a private tutoring he will be going to 2 days a week for 45 mins a day. If you have a HSA you should be able to use it for this but regular health insurance will not cover your cost. They are $275 a month for private lessons or group lesson 2-3 kids for $200. They use the S.P.I.R.E. approach (More about that below) Beckham has been going since November and is doing so much better. 

YOU are your childs adivicote if you don’t do anything for them they will get left behind. They will fall through the cracks and could grow up thinking they are not as sm00art when they are actually very very intellagent they just learn in a different way then they are being taught. The sooner you catch it the better off your child is. I hope this help even one child who is struglling to get the hlep thyeneed and deserve. We are all special we need to help and uplift each other. Just necuase you dont see someones challanges you never know what is going on in there head. Be loving be kind.

Please keep reading below!

Below is information i got from an amazing women who was a tutor who her self is dyslexic and has 2 children her self that are also dyslexic she was a private tutor to children with dyslexia for years (No longer is now) These are her tips as well.

Dyslexia-Brenda idea

  1. *“Understood”  For Learning and Attention issues’… on line.  They will send short and reader- friendly weekly emails with great ideas and articles.  Got to website for amazing resources and good information. Sign up to get their emails!!!!!!!

***TAKEN FROM   “Understood”    This gives you an idea of what you will find. Go and check them out.

Your Parent Toolkit               

Understanding Dyslexia

By The Understood Team


What You’ll Learn

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability in reading. Kids with dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. They may also have trouble with reading comprehension, spelling and writing.

Raising a child with dyslexia is a journey. As you move through it, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge about your child’s challenges with reading—and about the many ways you can help her succeed at school and in life.

This overview can answer many of your basic questions. It can also lead you to more in-depth information about this common learning issue.

If you’re concerned your child may have dyslexia, here are some steps you can take. And if you’ve just gotten a dyslexia diagnosis or school identification, learn what you can do next.

Snapshot: What Dyslexia Is

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that makes it difficult for people to read. It’s the most common learning issue, although it’s not clear what percentage of kids have it. Some experts believe the number is between 5 and 10 percent. Others say as many as 17 percent of people show signs of reading issues. The reason for the wide range is that experts may define dyslexia in different ways.

Dyslexia is mainly a problem with reading accurately and fluently. Kids with dyslexia may have trouble answering questions about something they’ve read. But when it’s read to them, they may have no difficulty at all.

Dyslexia can create difficulty with other skills, however. These include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Writing
  • Math
Meet Elijah, a high school science whiz with dyslexia.

People sometimes believe dyslexia is a visual issue. They think of it as kids reversing letters or writing backwards. But dyslexia is not a problem with visionor with seeing letters in the wrong direction.

It’s important to know that while dyslexia impacts learning, it’s not a problem of intelligence. Kids with this issue are just as smart as their peers. Many people have struggled with dyslexia and gone on to have successful careers. That includes a long list of actorsentrepreneurs and elected officials.

If your child has dyslexia, she won’t outgrow it. But there are supports, teaching approaches and strategies to help her overcome her challenges.

Dive Deeper

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Dyslexia Signs and Symptoms

Dyslexia impacts people in varying degrees, so symptoms may differ from one child to another. Generally, symptoms show up as problems with accuracy and fluency in reading and spelling. But in some kids, dyslexia can impact writing, math and language, too.

A key sign of dyslexia in kids is trouble decoding words. This is the ability to match letters to sounds and then use that skill to read words accurately and fluently.

One reason kids have difficulty decoding is that they often struggle with a more basic language skill called phonemic awareness. This is the ability to recognize individual sounds in words. Trouble with this skill can show up as early as preschool. Read about how phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics are related.

Hear what a doctor discovered through his daughter’s dyslexia.

In some kids, dyslexia isn’t picked up until later on, when they have trouble with more complex skills. These may include grammar, reading comprehension, reading fluency, sentence structure and more in-depth writing.

One potential sign of dyslexia is when kids avoid reading, both out loud and to themselves. Kids may even get anxious or frustrated when reading. This can happen even after they’ve mastered the basics of reading.

Signs of dyslexia can look different at different ages. Here are some examples of signs of dyslexia:


  • Has trouble recognizing whether two words rhyme
  • Struggles with taking away the beginning sound from a word
  • Struggles with learning new words
  • Has trouble recognizing letters and matching them to sounds

See more signs of dyslexia in preschool.

Grade School

  • Has trouble taking away the middle sound from a word or blending several sounds to make a word
  • Often can’t recognize common sight words
  • Quickly forgets how to spell many of the words she studies
  • Gets tripped up by word problems in math

See more signs of dyslexia in grade school. Watch videos to see what reading fluency can look like in kindergarten and in grade 1grade 2grade 3grade 4, and grade 5.

Middle School

  • Makes many spelling errors
  • Frequently has to re-read sentences and passages
  • Reads at a lower academic level than how she speaks

See more signs of dyslexia in middle school.

High School

  • Often skips over small words when reading aloud
  • Doesn’t read at the expected grade level
  • Strongly prefers multiple-choice questions over fill-in-the-blank or short answer.

See more signs of dyslexia in high school.

Dyslexia doesn’t just affect learning. It can impact everyday skills and activities, as well. These include social interaction, memory and dealing with stress.

Dive Deeper

Other Issues That Can Co-Occur With Dyslexia

Many kids have more than one learning and attention issue. There are a number of issues that often co-occur with dyslexia. There are also issues that have symptoms that can look like dyslexia symptoms. That’s why testing for dyslexia should be part of a full evaluation that looks at all areas of learning.

Watch the inspiring story of Anya, who has dyslexia and ADHD.

Here are some issues that often co-occur with or may be mistaken for dyslexia:

  • ADHD can make it difficult to stay focused during reading and other activities. Roughly 40 percent of students with ADHD also have dyslexia. But kids with dyslexia may fidget or act out in class because of frustration over reading, not ADHD.
  • Executive functioning issues can affect different skills and areas of learning. Executive functions include organization, flexible thinking, and working memory.

Learn how executive functioning issues can impact reading.

  • Slow processing speed can impact reading, as well as many other areas of learning. Kids who struggle with processing speed are slower to take in, process and respond to information. That can make it harder to master basic reading skills and get the meaning of what they’ve read.

Learn more about how slow processing speed impacts learning.

  • Auditory processing disorder (APD) affects a child’s ability to sort through the sounds she hears. This can make reading difficult. Kids with APD often have trouble recognizing the difference between letter sounds and sounding out new words.

Learn about the difference between dyslexia and APD.

  • Visual processing issues make it hard to process what the eyes see. Kids with visual processing issues may complain of blurry vision or of letters “hopping around on the page.” They may try to compensate by squinting or closing one eye. They often reverse letters when writing and struggle to stay within the lines.

Learn about the difference between dyslexia and visual processing issues.

  • Dysgraphia can affect a child’s ability to spell and to form letters and numbers. It can also make it hard to organize thoughts on paper. Many kids with dysgraphiaalso have dyslexia.

Learn about the difference between dyslexia and dysgraphia.

  • Dyscalculia makes it hard to do math. Many kids have serious difficulties in both reading and math and may have dyscalculia in addition to dyslexia. Trouble learning to count is associated with both.

Learn about the difference between dyslexia and dyscalculia.

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Possible Causes of Dyslexia

Researchers haven’t yet pinpointed exactly what causes dyslexia. But they do know that genes and brain differences play a role. Here are some of the possible causes of dyslexia:

  • Genes and heredity: Dyslexia often runs in families. About 40 percent of siblings of kids with dyslexia have the same reading issues. As many as 49 percent of parents of kids with dyslexia have it, too. Scientists have also found a number of genes linked to issues with reading and processing language.
  • Brain anatomy and activity: Brain imaging studies have shown brain differences between people with and without dyslexia. These differences occur in areas of the brain involved with key reading skills. Those skills are knowing how sounds are represented in words, and recognizing what written words look like.
Hear Lola, whose son has dyslexia, open up about her own diagnosis.

The brain can change, however. (This concept is known as neuroplasticity.) Studies show brain activity in people with dyslexia changes after they get proper tutoring. And scientists are learning more all the time.

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How Dyslexia Is Diagnosed

The only way to know for sure if your child has dyslexia is to have her fully evaluated, either at school or privately. School evaluations are free. Having a diagnosis (schools call it an identification) can allow your child to get supports and services at school. That includes specialized instruction in reading. Learn more about the difference between a school identification and a clinical diagnosis.

Before you go for the evaluation, however, it’s important to rule out any medical problems that might be at play. Your child’s doctor can check for vision or hearing problems.

There a few types of professionals who can assess kids for dyslexia. These include school psychologists, clinical psychologists and pediatric neuropsychologists.

Meet 11-year-old Ella, who teaches future teachers about dyslexia.

Your child’s evaluator will give her a series of tests for dyslexia. He’ll also assess your child in other areas to see exactly where her weaknesses lie.

A psychologist will also look for other issues that might be getting in the way of her learning. These include ADHD and mental health issues. ADHD often co-occurs with dyslexia. Some kids with learning and attention issues may also have anxiety or depression. (Read more about the connection between dyslexia and anxiety.)

You may be asked for a family history. You may also be asked to fill out questionnaires about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. And your child’s teachers may be asked to provide information on what they’re seeing in the classroom.

The specialist (or the evaluation team at school) will look at all the results together to make a diagnosis. She’ll also recommend ways to help your child. At school, this may result in your child getting an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan.

Dive Deeper

How Professionals Can Help With Dyslexia

There a number of professionals who might help a child with dyslexia—both in and out of school. They focus on different things: instruction, intervention, school supports and services, counseling and diagnosis. There are no medications or medical treatments for dyslexia.

These professionals include:

There are specific teaching methods to help kids with dyslexia. You may have heard about an approach called Orton–Gillingham (OG). It was the first to use instruction that is highly structured, sequential and multisensory.

See a woman with dyslexia reunite with the teacher who inspired her.

A number of research-based reading programs are based on OG. This type of instruction is known as multisensory structured language education (MSLE). Experts often consider MSLE the gold standard for teaching kids with dyslexia to read.

One of the things this instruction focuses on is phonological awareness. This is an early language skill that’s key to reading. Reading specialists and speech-language pathologists can work with kids on building this skill. They can also help with decoding, word recognition, spelling and reading fluency.

If your child is getting specialized instruction through an IEP, he’ll likely be taught using these methods. An IEP or 504 plan may also include other supports, like accommodations and assistive technology to help with reading. These supports can “level the playing field,” giving your child equal access to what’s being taught.

If your child doesn’t have an IEP or a 504 plan, the teacher may be willing to provide informal supports. Or your child may get instructional interventions through RTI.

Read more about treatment for dyslexia.

Dive Deeper

How You Can Help Your Child With Dyslexia

You are your child’s number-one source of support. From working with the school to working on reading skills, you can help give your child the tools and motivation to succeed in school and in life.

Here are just some of the things you can do:

For more ideas, explore a collection of strategies to help with dyslexia. And be sure to visit Parenting Coach, where you’ll find hundreds of age-specific, practical tips to work through social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

It’s important for you to have support, too:

Key Takeaways

  • Dyslexia is a lifelong, brain-based issue that makes it difficult for people to read.
  • Signs of dyslexia can look different at different ages.
  • There are many tools and strategies that can help your child with dyslexia succeed in school and in life


  1. *Utah Parent Center….Special needs resources.   They are on line and a location. Help with IEP process etc.  You can call them to get ideas and help with your IEP or 504.  Great resource to check out. Get on their email list for conferences, workshops etc.  Many of the events are FREE.

230 West 200 South, Suite 1101
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Phone: 801.272.1051
Toll-Free in Utah: 1.800.468.1160

Utah Parent Center serving Alpine District | 801-318-1959 

  1. *Check your School district.  They may have parent information and free workshops  in your area. I think you should have a school district ADVOCATE to assist you in getting the help you need….IF the school HAS the help you need.  If not, the Alpine School District has an advocate and could perhaps offer some ideas.
  1. For information and  upcoming events visit the Alpine School District Special Education Calendar or on Facebook.  These events are wonderful and applicable.  I have attended many FREE workshops over the last several years.  They are often in America Fork, Provo, and surrounding areas.


  1. “Child Mind Institute” ‘An independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders.’  They have a weekly email listing where they send out information and ideas.


For help with learning disability laws….the IEP process …and  504’s. This site is a bit technical.   You can get the same information….simplified on other sites.


  1. Dyslexia Center of Utah This is where I worked for over 4 years in Utah. The main location is in Cedar Hills. They offer 45 minute sessions for private and group tutoring. PRIVATE  is about $37.50, while GROUP 2-up to 3-4 students is about $27.50. They offer other centers or satellite locations in Lehi, Provo, Woods Cross and perhaps more. They have an informative website with resources.

                 ***This is me using S.P.I.R.E. at the Dyslexia Center with a young student.

I have taught pre-school through high-school with S.P.I.R.E. There are many levels.


  1. CHAD  of Utah

“CHADD” stands for Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. CHADD is a non-profit national, state and local organization dedicated to educating, supporting and advocating for those affected in some way by AD/HD.

CHADD of Utah is the name of the local chapter. Utah’s local chapter is an all-volunteer organization that offers Parent to Parent training opportunities, monthly support group meetings and annual conferences for teachers, parents, adults or anyone interested in learning more about AD/HD.   Be sure to look at the list of AD/HD conferences, workshops, seminars and camps.
Contact:    Amy Castillo 801-216-4918 or
  1. Utah Valley University  hosts  annual Conferences on ADHD in Sept. or  Oct. each year. They are all day long from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Sorensen Student Center. Sponsored by UVU’s University College, College of Humanities & Social Sciences and School of Education, the conference explores the newest information regarding ADHD treatment, resources and research.


“This UVU conference offers a valuable resource for our community to help awareness and broaden understanding,” said Toni Harris, assistant dean for the College of Humanities & Social Sciences. “The conference opens doors and creates connections on campus and in the community to help those who are affected by ADHD. We are pleased to offer this forum where students, parents, teachers and others can find pertinent information to help them in their lives.”

“A number of experts and local professionals will be present during breakout sessions, covering topics that include: parenting children with ADHD, increasing resiliency and well-being in young adults and college students with ADHD, non-drug treatments for ADHD and ADHD coaching, technology and ADHD, employment and higher education opportunities for those with ADHD, and strategies for teachings those who have ADHD.”

  1. .   Handwriting Without Tears is an excellent writing program to assist struggling writers.  I use several of their methods.

You can look them up on line to check them out.  They cater to beginning writers, but I have used their methods with all ages…through high-school.

***I worked on handwriting and letters with this young student.

  1. Testing; Dyslexia testing– is done by a neuropsychologist. This is usually very pricy.  BYU has done some testing in the past…not sure now. The Dyslexia Center of Utah will do an assessment of the characteristics that are common in Dyslexia. They either charge about $75+ for a quick one, or over $200+ for a complete assessment….If I remember correctly. Even though it is thorough and rather well done,   it is not an official or legal test.

***The basic idea is this….if someone is demonstrating the characteristics of Dyslexia; the logical choice is to teach them in a time-tested and research-based method that will help.  

ADHD testing—This gets tricky…..A doctor can assess for ADHD.  The school can assess for ADHD. These professionals can’t “TEST” for it.  These assessments are usually done with interviews, observations, and input from teachers, parents, and sometimes the students. They would be looking for characteristics of ADHD.  ADHD is not always demonstrated with “hyper” behavior.  The “distractibility” can be seen as they “zone-out” or simply seem to lack focus.

There are some newer “computer” tests that look at response time and measure attentiveness, but they are usually used as additional information….adding to interviews and observations.  Again, this is looking for characteristics.  I understand that the only way to “test” for ADHD would be a brain scan.

For either Dyslexia or ADHD….documentation can be helpful in the student’s future.  Sometimes extra time is allowed for SAT or ACT college entrance tests…but there must be “proof”. Most high-school teachers have a desire to help students achieve using accommodations or modifications. Some college professors are willing to help as well. Some colleges have thorough and time consuming processes in place to help “prove” the need for extra help or time. To keep possibilities open…. All documentation should be saved!  All paperwork from school, doctors etc. could really come in handy. Keep in a binder.

  • Modifications and Accommodations;

If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, you’ll likely hear the terms “accommodation” and “modification” from the IEP or 504 team. While they sound similar, they serve different purposes. Accommodations change how a student learns the material. A modification changes what a student is taught or expected to learn. Here are examples to help explain the differences between them.

Accommodations Modifications
Classroom instruction Accommodations can help kids learn the same material and meet the same expectations as their classmates. If a student has reading issues, for example, she might listen to an audio recording of a text. There are different types of classroom accommodations, including presentation (like listening to an audio recording of a text) and setting (like where a student sits). Kids who are far behind their peers may need changes, or modifications, to the curriculum. For example, a student could be assigned shorter or easier reading assignments. Kids who receive modifications are not expected to learn the same material as their classmates.
Classroom tests Testing accommodations can be different from those used for instruction. For example, using a spell-checker might help a student with writing difficulties take notes during class but wouldn’t be appropriate during a weekly spelling test. However, this student might benefit from extra time to complete the spelling test or using typing technology if the physical act of writing is difficult. Modifications in testing often involve requiring a student to cover less material or material that is less complex. For example, in the case of the spelling test, if the class was given 20 words to study, the student with modifications might only have to study 10 of them. Or she might have a completely different list of words.
Standardized testing Statewide assessments allow certain accommodations like extra time or taking a computerized exam. Ideally these are the same accommodations a child uses to take class tests. Some students take an “alternate assessment” of their statewide test, which includes modifications to the regular test. The questions in this type of alternate assessment might not cover the same materials as the standard exams. Also, the results would be interpreted differently. Before you agree to an alternate assessment, find out how the results will be interpreted and what (if any) implications there will be for your child.
Gym, music and art class Accommodations for “special” classes like gym, music and art can be helpful. These are similar to accommodations for classroom instruction. Kids might get extra time to complete assignments or be allowed to complete them in a different format. If the school believes that an assignment within a class like gym, music or art is unreasonable for your child, modifications to that assignment are made. The gym teacher might modify the number of laps a student needs to run; the music teacher might not require a child to participate in the final performance. In some cases, students are even excused from certain classes in order to make time for one-on-one time with a specialist.

Keep in mind that accommodations don’t always have to be formalized through an IEP or 504 plan. Sometimes teachers can provide informal accommodations. If your child doesn’t have an IEP or 504 plan, here are some examples of informal supports you can request. (above)

Some Affective Learning Approaches To Help….These have been time-tested and continue to be successful.

***Ask your special education teachers “What they use?”

***The S.P.I.R.E. program is available on-line.  You can purchase the workbooks, readers and testing materials.  The training and experience is what makes the teacher effective.

S.P.I.R.E, a Research-Based Program…..(This is the program that I am most familiar with. I have been trained and taught using it for over 5 years.)

“Over the last 15 years, we have seen a growing consensus among researchers and theories in the field of reading and literacy. This consensus has centered on several important factors related to reading and literacy instruction that appear to be solidly based on research, indicating that they have powerful influences on achievement.”

These Key Factors Are:

  • Exemplary instruction
  • Explicit, systematic instruction in concept and word
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Phonological Awareness Instruction
  • Explicit, systematic, and sequenced instruction on sound/symbol relationships
  • Direct instruction in vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension
  • Rich,  integrated experiences in reading and literacy; reading text reinforces concepts taught
  • Explicit, systematic, sequential instruction in spelling, handwriting, written language, and oral expression.


  ***Me with a young student. I have taught pre-school through high-school with S.P.I.R.E.  and some of the SLINGERLAND APPROACH. There are many levels.

S.P.I.R.E. is not only built on these factors, but also addresses the principles of best practices as set forth by the leading researchers in the field of literacy. These principles have been recognized by the International Reading Association and the International Dyslexia Association.

S.P.I.R.E. lesson plans and material provide engaging tools designed to systematically and successfully guide students to comprehensive abilities in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

S.P.I.R.E. moves students through a developmental process from emergent levels of literacy to early reading to accomplished, fluent reading.  Throughout, student attention is enhanced by an actively involved teacher who works with the student throughout the lesson, utilizing multi-sensory instruction, game like activities, and engaging stories. Each lesson is designed to begin the process of moving children from the skills of early reading to the beginning of a lifelong love of and commitment to literacy.

S.P.I.R.E. is a TOTAL language approach. It integrates spoken language with reading and written expression. To look more into this program you can download the research base for S.P.I.R.E. at

The Slingerland® Approach     ***(I also apply this approach)

The Slingerland® Approach is a classroom adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham method. Since 1960, thousands of teachers throughout the United States, and in Canada, Australia, and the Philippines have received Slingerland® Training.

This structured, sequential, simultaneous, multi-sensory teaching approach is designed to help dyslexic students and other struggling readers with speaking, reading, writing and spelling. The flexibility of the approach has also made it effective in general education classrooms as well.

With the Slingerland® Approach learning takes place with involvement of Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic-motor processing. It is in the linkage of these channels that dyslexic children often have difficulty. The Slingerland® Approach starts with the smallest unit of sight, sound, and feel — a single letter. Expanding upon that single unit, students are taught through an approach that strengthens inter-sensory associations and enables the strong channel of learning to reinforce the weak. It is thorough and integrated, providing a complete language learning experience.

From single letters, students are taught how to associate sounds with their visual counterparts and put these letters together to spell words. They add suffixes and prefixes, and write phrases, sentences and paragraphs. They are also taught the phonetic rules and generalizations of the English language. Rather than a weekly spelling list, children work with a dictation paragraph that provides practice with punctuation, capitalization, and language mechanics, as well as spelling. Through this carefully guided approach, they learn to put these skills to functional use while developing confidence in their own abilities for written expression. A structured phonetic approach to teaching decoding helps the students become successful in reading individual words and learning the structure of the English language. In preparation for reading, students learn how words go together in phrases to create meaning and learn the vocabulary that will be needed to understand a reading selection. The teacher then carefully structures that selection to develop fluency and comprehension of the passage.

The Slingerland® Approach is a supportive instructional program that encourages academic competence, effective work habits and self-discipline. Students gain self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning as they experience success in school.

Slingerland® certified teachers consistently provide the specialized instruction needed for children with dyslexia to unlock the rich world of written and spoken language. This prevents students from falling through the cracks of a conventional classroom. It is a very cost-effective way for school districts to fulfill their commitment to educate children with dyslexia.

Some school districts use the Slingerland® Approach in all their primary classrooms. This creates an enhanced learning experience for all children, while providing specific help for the dyslexic population. Test scores reflect the effectiveness of this multi-sensory structured language instruction.

Advantages of The Slingerland® Approach

  • A simultaneous, multi-sensory, total language approach
  • Research Bases Success
  • Usable in any classroom setting
  • Usability with any reading materials
  • Meets instructional needs of children in general education and those with dyslexia or those experiencing language difficulties
  • Successful * Efficient * Proven * Cost-effective

Wilson Language Training®

Whether caused by dyslexia or some other language-based learning difficulty, a late introduction to English or over-reliance on whole language programs, this deficit must be corrected by direct, multi-sensory, structured language teaching.

The mission of Wilson Language Training® is to provide teachers with the skills and tools they need to help their students become fluent, independent readers. We prepare teachers to use our multi-sensory, structured language programs and strategies to successfully teach reading and spelling.

Alphabetic Phonics®

Alphabetic Phonics is a multi-sensory curriculum, based on the Orton-Gillingham that teaches the structure of the English language.  This phonetic program teaches reading, handwriting, spelling, written expression, and comprehension, by simultaneously engaging the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities.

Alphabetic Phonics combines all three learning modalities: auditory for spelling; visual for reading; kinesthetic for handwriting. Two of the key features of Alphabetic Phonics are the Instant Spelling and the Initial Reading Deck. The Instant Spelling is a daily 3-minute drill that focuses on the most probable spelling of each of the forty-four speech sounds. The Initial Reading Deck is a set of 98 cards with pictured key words (chosen by students) to “unlock” each sound.

In Alphabetic Phonics, benchmark measures geared exactly to the curriculum were added to provide periodic proof of students’ progress in reading, spelling, handwriting, and alphabetizing; and are designed both to guide the teachers’ presentation pace and to enhance the student’s confidence.

DTP (Dyslexia Training Program)

The Dyslexia Training Program&#174 at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is a highly successful Tier III Reading Intervention Program that providess intensive phonics instruction to children with dyslexia.

The Dyslexia Training Program&#174 is a comprehensive, two-year program that bridges the gap for school districts in which a trained dyslexia therapist or appropriately trained teacher is not available.

I…Brenda… agree with the experts….Multi-sensory Learning is the best way to make things STICK!     We are NOT stupid! We learn things differently.

Go on line and look for ideas and resources for help with;

  • Auditory Processing        2. ADHD 3. Dyslexia

Use the resources listed above.  They are designed just for YOU and your kiddo!!!!  Even Pinterest has ideas.

There are ways of talking, asking, and reporting with your kiddo… that may help your kiddo exercise= practice= develop brain patterns…………needed to sustain memory and learn correct behaviors.  (We touch them; they repeat what we say, etc.)

The best part is that we can help our kiddos in positive ways!  All the good ideas to parent/teach struggling kiddos…..will also help ALL THE KIDDOS in your home/school.

I always tell kiddos;

“They need to be the HARDEST   WORKER in the room” in order to succeed at most school tasks.

One of our most important tools in learning is humility!

We need to admit when we don’t understand, and be grateful when we get help!

  1. It is tiring.
  2. It is exhausting
  3. It takes way too long.
  4. It is annoying.
  5. It is a rip off.

But…. It’s OKAY!

We can do hard things!  We are not alone.  So many people love us!

It is what it is, and we are who we are.

  1. Leaning challenges don’t have to define us. We are good at other things!
  2. We can become better people because of the lessons we learn while working through them.
  3. PLUS:   We can show compassion, empathy and help toward others who struggle.    It’s okay…WE ARE AMAZING!                                                                        Miss Brenda

Here are some definitions of Dyslexia;

…a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.


But basically…. if a kiddo is raised with typical health, attends a typical school, has a typical family and a typical intellect……….but struggles with reading and spelling….there is most likely a processing problem with characteristics of Dyslexia.  It’s that basic.  

If your kiddo comes from challenged health, school, family etc.  …. then he still needs methods to help him fill in the gaps and get the study skills necessary for success. 

Usually there can be “holes” in a kiddos learning….Information that just did not “stick”.  Catching up takes multi-sensory learning and lots of repetition, and is usually necessary to move forward with learning… Especially in areas such as math.

The problem is that most kiddos fall through the cracks because of $$$, time and space.  Special education teachers don’t usually have the best methods in place….or the time.

With hard work, we can actually change the way the brain processes information…especially in reading and spelling.  

Read through the attachment.  Better yet, copy it and highlight was makes sense to you.  At the beginning, I copied a whole “blog” from “Understood”, my favorite resource.


Go ahead and ask this kiddo:

    1. How he feels about school?
    2. How is his reading aloud?  Does he avoid it?
    3. Is everyday spelling tricky?
    4. Is spelling easier when taking spelling tests that he has prepared for?
    5. How about hearing instructions?, remembering details?
    6. Does he have frustrations in school?
    7. Is he feeling dumb, feeling slower than everybody else?
    8. Is he not getting jokes as quickly as peers?
    9. Is he good at remembering names?  or not really?
    10. Does he struggle with keeping info in his head;  dates, times etc.  
    11. Does he struggle with basic sight word spelling like to, too, two?  
    12. Does he sometimes leave off the last letter when spelling words?  
    13. Does he get his lower-case b and d mixed up when he is in a hurry with reading?   or spelling?  
    14. Does he need more time on school tasks?
    15. Does he wonder when to put on an (e) at the end of words?  
    16. Does he sometimes mix up (ch) for (sh)?  or (ch) for (tch)?
    17.  Does he feel totally discouraged and want to give up?  
    18. Does he wonder why he has to work harder than anyone else?  
    19. Did he have ear infections growing up?
    20. Has he ever reversed his letters? His numbers? Or how about the letters in words when he is  writing?
    21. Do the names of the week or months get mixed up?
    22. Does he feel good at math?
    23. What are HIS CONCERNS?  
    24. WHAT does HE want to be better at….if he had a magic wand 

There is and awesome site called Mom Loves Best they did a wonderful post on The Ultimate Reading Guide For Your Child. Check it out HERE. This is also a great resource for any parent with a child with a learning disability or not.

I truley hope this helps some of you who are feeling overwhelmed and not know what to do or where to turn. There is help for you or your child so use it. Love you all be kind, loving and understanding to someone who may be struggling.

As Albert Einstein said:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid.”




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    HEY! You sound just like me 🙂 There is so much help now for them that we did not have. I also had Beckham is speech do keep a close eye on them and see how they are progressing. My heart was totally broken for Beckham at first and now i know he’s got an advantage from everyone else and he will learn hard work and nothing comes easy at a young age to help him as an adult Because we will make sure to get him the proper help he need. If you need anything let me know. Its so nice to know there are others out there like you especially when you feel like your the only one.

  3. Mama bear

    Hey mama! I grew up with a learning disability/ dyslexic and still struggle with it daily and everyday I do my best to hide it… in school I would panic about having to read out loud in class and having someone read my notes… anyways I’m now a mom and I fear she might go throw what I did. She is already behind in her speech development starting speech therapy this week 😞 It’s nice to know I’m not alone ❤️


    Oh you do! I am so glad you think it’s helpful it actually means a lot to me. I hope to help anyone I can.

  5. Kelly Tate

    Thanks Lauren! I work with students that are dyslexic and will be referring new parents to this! Super helpful!

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