Kids With Special Needs: Diagnosing Dyslexia
It is very normal for beginning readers to flip letters and words, so it is probably not a problem. However, early intervention of reading problems is very important, so I would check with your child's teacher. Ask for a meeting and bring specific examples of your concerns. Ask the teacher to track what he or she is seeing in class, and schedule a follow-up meeting.
If you decide that you do want to get your child tested for dyslexia, you can ask the school for a referral for special education.
In 1975, Congress passed Public Law 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, which provided some of the first legal rights to children in special education. That law, later renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), has been modified several times, most recently in 2004. Although IDEA is a complicated and comprehensive law, at its core, it has six major provisions:
- All children have a right to receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE).
- All children have a right to non-discriminatory evaluations to determine if they are eligible for special education services.
- Schools must provide individually designed, appropriate programs to those who qualify for special education services (an Individual Educational Plan, or IEP).
- Children with disabilities will be educated with their non-disabled peers to the extent possible (a Least Restrictive Environment, or LRE).
- The decisions of the school system may be challenged by the parents (Due Process).
- Parents have a right to participate as partners in the planning and decision making for their child's education.