Dyslexia is a cluster of symptoms which can cause students to find reading, writing, processing information quickly and remembering things tricky. Take a look at Could my child be dyslexic for more details.
Reasons to test for dyslexia
There are several good reasons to test for dyslexia. If you know the areas that your child is having difficulties, you and school can help with those areas. If there are processing issues highlighted as part of the dyslexia, this might suggest that investigating extra time in GCSEs and A levels – take a look at Could my child get extra time for GCSEs and A levels.
Potential reasons not to test
Some parents are concerned the by having a dyslexia screening, it may ‘label’ their child as dyslexic. Increasing numbers of well-know successful people (Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson) have helped to finally dispel the myth the dyslexia means stupid, which is a fantastic as this has been a huge injustice to people with dyslexic traits.
I think the only reason that I have ever come across for not testing is a child I taught once, who declared that he couldn’t do that (the piece of work) because he was dyslexic. However, this really isn’t a reason not to screen for dyslexia as much as a lesson in how you communicate that information to your child.
Many children find it hugely reassuring that there is reason why they find some things harder than their peers. This can be communicated within the context of ‘You may always have to work a little harder than your friends but there are things that we can help you with to make life a little easier.’