How To Talk to Parents About Dyslexia Assessments?

How To Talk to Parents About Dyslexia Assessments

Last Updated on November 8, 2023

As an educator or clinician who assesses individuals for learning disorders, you aren’t just working with students but communicating and providing an education to the student’s entire family. Learn more about how to talk to parents about dyslexia assessments.

5 Tips for Talking to Parents About Assessments

When faced with their student’s reading challenges, involved parents typically have two questions: “What’s going on with my child?” and “How can I help them succeed?”. Here are five tips for discussing dyslexia assessments with parents productively and positively.

1. Use a Strengths-Based Approach

Parents likely already know their child is struggling, so they won’t need to hear you say it. Focus on the positive aspects of learning to read. In addition, it’s helpful to look at the parts of their child’s personality — such as determination, intelligence, creativity, or other special skills — that could assist their child in overcoming reading challenges.

2. Limit Your Use of Jargon

Most people who do not work in education or linguistics are unfamiliar with jargon such as “phonological awareness” or “pragmatics” that you might use to discuss your student’s deficits or strengths. Try to stick to familiar words that help parents grasp the basics of their child’s condition and what actions they can take to help.

3. Be Sensitive to Diagnosis Resistance

Does one parent seem willing to do whatever it takes to help while the other maintains that their child is fine? It’s important to understand that this resistance may not have anything to do with the child. Instead, it could come from the parent’s childhood struggles with reading, fear for the child’s future, or a simple misunderstanding of what’s happening. Do your best to understand the family’s situation before scheduling an assessment.

4. Focus on the Benefits of Early Assessment

Many parents want to take the “wait and see” approach to dyslexia assessment. Unfortunately, their child may need help now to gain skills that could be the building blocks for later schoolwork. Reassure the child’s parents that there’s no harm in assessing early — and that their child may struggle to catch up if you wait months or years to perform an assessment.

5. Direct Them Toward Actionable Steps

Some parents feel lost in the assessment process. Professionals must help them understand the child’s condition and what they plan to assess and direct them toward actionable steps to help their child. They could spend 15 minutes a day reading with their child, involve an older sibling, or work with you to find reading-level appropriate material on topics that interest the child.

Learn More About Assessments for Dyslexia 

Parents may have difficulty navigating the assessment process and a potential diagnosis of dyslexia for their child. Sometimes, parents may resist the idea of their child needing an assessment. It may prove challenging to communicate in the most appropriate, actionable terms, even if the parents are on board with the process.Fortunately, the benefits of early assessment and treatment far outweigh the drawbacks. Learn more at WPS about how to help children succeed in school and beyond through the latest research-backed assessments like the Tests of Dyslexia (TOD™).

Cookies Notice

Our website use cookies. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this.