The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity
Choosing a School
Selecting a School for Your Dyslexic Child

 

 


 

If your child has already been identified as having a reading problem or you suspect one, proper testing and evaluation should be conducted before approaching any school.  Identifying a problem and its nature better equips you to ask the right questions and find the best school.

There is not one perfect school environment that will suit every child with a reading problem and his family.  The perfect school does not exist.  The key to selecting a school is to determine which school’s profile best matches you and your child’s priorities at a particular point in time.  And your priorities will change as your child goes through school.

The steps and questions below will help guide you through the process of selecting a school and will also give insight to the range of possible programs and services that a school could potentially offer to your child.

  • Ask as many people as you can about the school, particularly parents whose children are attending or are graduates of the school.

  • Visit the school, and ask yourself:

    - What is the overall environment like?

    - Do the children seem happy?

    - Is there a sense of orderliness?

    - Are the teachers and administrators open and friendly, and do they welcome questions?

  • Find out how the school views itself and what experience and policies it has regarding children with learning disabilities.

  • Observe several classes in session.

  • Learn about the students who attend the school.

  • Learn about the school’s academic curriculum and its reading program.

  • Find out about the school’s attitude toward providing accommodations, such as extra time on tests.

  • Learn about the faculty.

    - How available are the faculty for students who require extra help?

    -
    How long have the teachers typically been at the school?

    -
    How are parents kept informed of their child’s progress?

  • Learn about what extracurricular activities are offered.

 

In the final analysis, weigh all the factors but also value your gut feeling.  Your overall impression of the school is important and may provide a clue about intangibles that are difficult to characterize but may be extremely meaningful to you and your child.  Schools can look very good on paper, but somehow not have the parts come together in a satisfactory way.  Trust your instincts.

 

Source: Overcoming Dyslexia