4. Can a child be dyslexic if he hasn’t even finished 1st grade?

Yes. We now know that problems with the building blocks needed for successful listening, speaking, reading, and writing can be observed and documented in preschoolers. If you even suspect that your young child may be at risk for a language or reading disorder, seek an expert opinion immediately. Do not be talked into playing a waiting game; the stakes are too high to err on the side of procrastination.

5. If one child has dyslexia, can i expect to see it in my other children?

Quite possibly. Historically, dyslexia has been known to run in families, and recent studies suggest that it is carried to succeeding generations as a genetic trait.  Consequently, a child whose sibling or parent has dyslexia or whose close relatives have obvious reading disorders should be considered “at-risk”.  In such cases it is critical that the child be monitored closely during the preschool years for signs of developmental issues in oral language.

6. Why must there be so much testing?  Isn’t there one specific test for dyslexia?

No. Because of the complex nature of dyslexia as it is manifested in the process of reading, and because of its roots in the development of oral language, an assessment for dyslexia must be comprehensive.  It needs to include parent and teacher observations, knowledge of family and child history, samples of the child’s language and work products, a structured interview, and then an appropriate, specifically selected battery of tests which will evaluate the child’s abilities and skills in phonology, letter and word identification, sound/symbol correspondence, spelling, writing conventions, vocabulary, reading real words, decoding nonsense words, listening comprehension, oral reading, and reading comprehension - both oral and silent.