My otherwise bright 9-year-old son is still struggling to read and I think he might be dyslexic. What do I do?
I asked a local special needs teacher and she recommended that your first stop should be with one of the child’s teachers at school or the principal to talk about your concerns. Ask them if your son is performing at their age-expected level in reading and spelling, and if there does indeed seem to be a problem, request that he is seen by the school’s special education needs coordinator (SENCO), which all government schools have and who are trained to evaluate students’ learning difficulties.
If your son attends a private school and it does not have a staff member qualified to do this, there is a non-profit organisation called the Special Needs Foundation Cayman — see the website here or go straight to the page on dyslexia and reading difficulties here. The site has lots of useful information and also links to where you can find professional help on-island.
While this does not replace an evaluation by a trained professional, there is an online test — see here — that you and your son can go through initially to see if he might have dyslexia (the site has similar tests for dyspraxia and ADHD as well).
According to the British Dyslexia Association, 10% of the population are dyslexic, 4% severely so. However, there are many dedicated SEN teachers on island, government and private, who can both assess your son’s reading problem and give him the help he needs if he is, in fact, found to be dyslexic or has some other reading disability.