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Alison ~ From a teacher's perspective, testing before 2nd or 3rd grade isn't the norm. The reason being is that many children display signs of dyslexia such as reversing their b's & d's but it is just part of the learning process. Now, if you have been able to find more signs that support your diagnosis, then I would start looking for ways to counter act it. I have looked up some sites for you to check out. Also, mention this to your pediatrician. They are another route to take for testing. Don't leave it up to a public school. There is too much red tape to cut through before getting results (at least it is that way in TX) & like you said, it will be harder to catch up later!
I ditto the idea of speaking to your ped. My son just got recommended for an evaluation for speech after I just mentioned that he stuttered (3 1/2). Now he is in the process of getting insurance okay to start therapy. We can get services through the school but the process is much slower. So please talk to your son's doctor.
I would also email your son's teacher and let her know your concerns. That way she can also observe him and see if he is having the same problems at school as you are noticing at home.
My son is in physical therapy at a pediatric place which also has occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc. It's WONDERFUL!!! I see grade school kids in there all the time and know what they go through. They're so proud of themselves for each tiny accomplishment! They're able to go from one therapist to the next all within the same session to deal with whatever issues they have. A lot of them come in with siblings, so the therapists are able to trade off to get all the kids in at the same time (which means mom only has to sit in the lobby for an hour! ) Talk to your pediatrician to see about getting an evaluation.
My niece Maddie (same age) has horrible reading problems and has never been officially diagnosed--she's homeschooled and my SIL noticed a ton of problems and had her evaluated by her ped and she is now seeing a vision specialist that has helped a lot. Places are expensive, but it may be worth it in the end to get him on track!
There's a hesitancy among professionals to label children this early. I would get a referral from your ped., and be careful of labels. You don't want a label of LD on your son so early. The long term implications could be serious.
Pursue the avenue the others have suggested. The services are offered to your son, but the therapists will work with you too. You can become your son's advocate at school that way.
my thanks to Claire1979 for the awesome siggy!!
There is a reading method called the Spalding Method. It's basically a scientific way to teach kids how to read. The wonderful think about it is that when the program is followed you can't tell that dyslexic kids are dyslexic. They have success with this program. I can't say enough good things about it.