by Abigail Marshall. Excerpted with permission from Chapters 2 and 3 of The Everything Parent’s Guide To Children With Dyslexia
Often, very bright children are able to compensate for their dyslexia in the early school years, but cannot cope with the greater intellectual demands of secondary-level schooling.
Some common signs that your teenager may have dyslexia are:
- Your child must repeatedly read and reread material in order to understand it.
- Your child has extreme difficulty managing and keeping track of homework assignments and deadlines for his various classes.
- Your child repeatedly reports that she was unaware of assignments and deadlines because the teacher “never told” her what was required.
- Your child has unexpected difficulty with learning a foreign language.
- Your child struggles with higher math, such as algebra.
- There is a significant discrepancy between your child’s school performance and scores on standardized tests, including college board tests such as the PSAT.
If your child shows significant problems in any one of the above areas, it is a sign that he may have a previously undiagnosed learning disability. You should discuss these issues with him and also talk to parents of his classmates to find out whether their children are also having problems with the same subjects. Sometimes a problem with a math class or the first year of a foreign language can simply be the result of a poor teacher; poor grades in any subject can also occur with a teacher who is unusually strict in grading practices. If it is a “teacher” problem, usually other students and parents will have similar complaints.
However, if the problems seem to be unusual or persistent, you should seek an evaluation for dyslexia or other learning barriers. The guidance counselor at school may be able to help arrange such testing, as well as to help plan your child’s course schedule to better meet his needs.
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