Information for Parents – Primary School Students

Dyslexia and learning disabilities are usually become noticeable when a child is in primary school and they are beginning to read and write and function within a classroom. However as a parent or caregiver you will often have had concerns that something was ‘not right’ during their preschool years.

With your child at school it is important that any concerns are now addressed and a positive partnership between parents, teachers and the school in general are developed that will result in the best outcomes for your child.

SPELD Victoria strongly encourages working in partnership with your child’s school and has regular liaison with education providers including the Victorian Department of Early Childhood and Education (DEECD).

DEECD has the following information for parents on their website.

Talking to teachers at your child’s school - How schools can help:

If you have concerns about your child’s reading, talk to the teacher first. Working with your child’s teacher is vital if your child is dyslexic. The school will identify your child’s strengths and reading needs so that the most appropriate help can be put in place. The school may bring in other people to decide if your child needs additional support, such as a specialist teacher or (with parent permission) a student support service officer such as a psychologist.

What the school does:

  • Schools encourage parents to tell them about any concerns they might have, schools”
  • Identify reading and spelling abilities right from when your child first starts school using the transition statement worked out with your kindergarten
  • Regularly report and monitor reading progress
  • May provide access to specific literacy support for children not making expected progress by the end of the first year
  • Target the teaching in class to assist any children with reading difficulties and dyslexia.

When to talk to your child’s school:

Start talking to your child’s teacher as soon as you have concerns about your child’s progress. The teacher may also approach you.

Who to talk to first at the school:

Start with your child’s teacher – a conversation might include:

  • Concerns about your child’s progress in reading, their attitude towards learning and their self esteem.
  • What you and the teacher have noticed and when it was noticed.
  • What you and the teacher are doing to support the child or young person with the problems eg teaching which concentrates on the reading difficulties or dyslexia, support in the classroom, or supportive home activities.

The information that the teacher can share with you:

  • Assessment and overview of your child’s learning
  • Specific difficulties your child is having and how they are being supported at school
  • Your child’s strengths
  • How you can help at home.

Features of a successful home-school partnership:

  • Reading difficulties or dyslexia are identified early.
  • Students are helped to make out the sounds in oral language, match sounds to letters, and learn the meaning of words.
  • Practical support is provided.
  • Activities and tasks that allow students with dyslexia to recognize not only what they have difficulty with, but also their strengths.
    • A common strength among dyslexic children is the ability to recognize images and to visualise.

Strategies that can be used to support your child:

  • Understanding dyslexia and how it affects reading and writing, is an important first step towards helping your child.
  • Talk to your child’s school and teachers. Developing a plan together to support your child will give them the best possible opportunity for improvement.
  • Supporting your child at home, helping them with their homework and using strategies worked out with your school to help them improve their reading and writing skills.

SPELD Victoria also provides:

  • General information on liaising with schools. Send your enquiries via contact us on the website.
  • Consultancy for parents with educational psychologists on dyslexia and learning difficulties.
  • Consultancy for teachers and school and community professionals on dyslexia and learning difficulties.