Step 1 : Alerting the Classroom Teacher to the Problem

The purpose of this blog series, Parent Dyslexia Toolbox, is to provide parents with tools that they can use to advocate for children who are suffering from reading and writing failure.



When you, as a parent, realize that your child is struggling with literacy, your first step is to engage the classroom teacher. You want to do this in writing so that you have a paper trail. Documentation is important, even at this step, because you are starting the process of proving that your child has a need. Needs drive services and you want your child's need to result in your child gaining access to a proven reading/writing remediation program that is delivered by a trained individual.


Begin your letter with an expression of concern about your child's ability to reading and write. Then, list your specific observations relating to your child's ability to read and write. For example, you might note that your child is unable to sound out simple words or can only read one syllable words. For writing, you might note that your child's letters are not properly formed or spaced, don't start on the left side of the page, or that your child is reluctant to write at all.


Next, you want to gather input from the teacher. Here are some questions that are useful to include in your letter:

  1. Do you think that my child is experiencing difficulty with reading? If so, can you explain the ways in which my child is experiencing difficulty in this area?

  2. Do you think that my child is experiencing difficulty with writing? If so, can you explain the ways in which my child is experiencing difficulty in this area?

  3. How are my child's reading and writing skills in comparison to the other students in the class?

  4. What can I do at home to help my child improve in the areas of reading and writing?

  5. What can be done at school to help my child improve in the areas of reading and writing?

End your letter by thanking the teacher for their time and by stating a date by which you would like a reply to your letter. Stating a date (give them one week) by which you would like a reply may feel pushy, but I recommend it. You are at the beginning of a process that will hopefully lead to your child receiving a needed reading/writing remediation program from a trained individual. If your child is dyslexic