What To Do If You Suspect Dyslexia

Alabama schools won't accept that the D-word exists

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

By CHALLEN STEPHENS
Times Staff Writer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

irbyDr. James Irby, special education attorney, offers these tips to parents who suspect a child has dyslexia:

"Communicate with the special education coordinator of their system so the school system cannot say they did not know there was a problem." The school has a duty to educate all children no matter what, he said.

Give the school copies of the dyslexia diagnosis from the Scottish Rite Foundation or other outside group. This shows that school officials had reason to suspect a disability.

If diagnostic testing was done by a private company, the parent can try to recoup the expense, said Irby. "Under certain circumstances the school system can be made to reimburse the parents."

If you suspect a problem, but don't have a diagnosis, write a simple two-line note. Tell the principal of the school that you want your child tested for special education and that your child cannot read. "That constitutes a parental referral. From that date the school system has 60 days to have that referral completed." A parent referral bypasses long waiting periods with teacher referrals.

Parents can best advocate for children by forming a support group, sharing information and staying in contact with the special education coordinator and principal.

"Document, document, document."

Dr. James Irby, Attorney (Athens) Area attorney that provides assistance with getting equal treatment for children in public schools.