Q:

I pulled my third-grader from a public-school classroom of 21 children and placed him in a Montessori school with only five children in the class. He tested dyslexic last year and reads approximately six months below his grade level. I have him read aloud for about 15 minutes each night until he reaches his frustration level. Can you recommend a good reading program for him? He loves computers. - Want to Help

A:

Do not assume that your son's reading problems will be addressed just because he is in a small class. He needs to have a teacher who is well-versed in the special methods that must be used to teach dyslexics how to read. This is the key to his learning how to read. Make sure that his teacher has these qualifications, or consider returning him to public schools, which are required by law to develop Individual Education Plans for students diagnosed as dyslexic through the public-school system.

There are no quick fixes for dyslexia. Computers are not the answer. Working with your son on phonics and reading to him should be helpful. However, more is needed. You need to become very knowledgeable about dyslexia. Contact the International Dyslexia Association at (800) ABC-D123, or visit its Web site at www.interdys.org, to learn about dyslexia and all that you can do to help your child. The association can refer you to tutors, schools specializing in dyslexia, local support groups and the latest research. You also can talk to experts in the field. Plus, the association has local branches that will allow you to network with the parents of other dyslexic children.

Now is the time to help your son. The best results for dyslexics occur when quality help is received by the time a child is in third grade.