Dyslexia label


Will it hurt my child in school to be labeled dyslexic?


Parents are sometimes discouraged from seeking help for their child in school for fear of that the child will suffer if given a “label” associated with a learning disability.

For children in U.S. public schools, the “label” means:

  1. The school is legally required to provide appropriate educational support, at no expense to the family, and
  2. Until the child is doing well enough to keep up with classmates the school will have to provide appropriate accommodations for her.

The school cannot avoid these responsibilities; they are mandated by U.S. law. Similar laws protect dyslexic children in Canada, the U.K., and many other parts of the world.

The school is also legally required to provide complete testing and evaluation of the child, without cost to the parent.

Dyslexia is not a bad thing. It is nothing to panic over; it is a learning difficulty probably shared by about 15% of all schoolchildren, according to U.S. Government figures. That’s one out of every seven kids.

A child who is struggling with reading in school is likely to be dyslexic. The time to seek help is when it first becomes apparent that the child is having a hard time keeping up in school, or seems unhappy or frustrated. That’s because the child is unlikely to be able to overcome learning problems without extra help. Without help, the child will fall further behind, become more frustrated, and experience increasing dismay and embarrassment at school.

(Answer by Abigail Marshall)