Why you need to know if your child has a learning disability or not
It seems to be a general worldwide trend that there is a reluctance to label children with a specific learning disability and most parents will have their own view on this. The outcome of this reluctance to label is this, without some form of diagnosis and recognised label, your child may never receive the level of assistance they are entitled to from their relevant education authority. Regardless of the extent of their dyslexia or learning disability, wouldn’t you want them to receive as much assistance as is available to them whilst they are at school?
Ultimately it is a parent’s choice whether their child will be tested or not and whether you want a label to be applied or not. Just don’t waste the opportunity to help your child as early as you can. It is the one time when being a pushy parent can be a major positive and it can be critical when it means the difference between your child being given extra assistance or not.
Please remember that many experts define dyslexia as a complex brain-processing problem, which needs to be diagnosed accurately by specialists with the appropriate qualifications. When your child is at school in their classroom most teachers see only their behaviour and the schoolwork they produce. This can illustrate the symptoms of certain brain processing problems, but it is not and never will be an accurate way to diagnose dyslexia.
Who is qualified to test your child for dyslexia?
An in-school learning support teacher or counsellor with the appropriate postgraduate qualifications. You need to check qualifications thoroughly. If you require further clarification check with the dyslexic association in your state of territory.
A children’s hospital will often have a department specifically for children with development or specific learning disabilities where all the appropriate specialists are available. This can include, paediatricians, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, teachers and others. These departments often have close links with education authorities meaning you many not need further testing and will receive a comprehensive report covering all aspects of your child’s learning disability, support services and what you can do to support them effectively.
Dyslexia assessments are the key to maximising school support, government funding and educational accommodations for your child to achieve their best possible academic outcomes.