For parents and carers

What is Dyslexia?


The Swindon Dyslexia Service uses the following definition of Dyslexia as used by Swindon Children Services:


•             Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

•             Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

•             Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.

•             It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.

•             Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.

•             A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention.


From the report, “Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties.” Rose, J., (2009): DCSF.



What to do if you suspect that your child may be dyslexic?


  • Speak with your child’s school (class teacher, tutor or the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) about your concerns to find out whether they have similar concerns.

  • Find out what is working well for your child, as well as what might not be working well.

  • If support has already been put into place (differentiation, interventions etc.), ask for an evaluation of the support.

  • Parents and carers may wish to read more about the indicators of dyslexia on the British Dyslexia Association’s website.

  • Keep open an ongoing dialogue with the school and find out more about how you can support learning at home



Eyes and Ears


  • Ensure that your child has regular eye tests and if your child wears glasses, make sure that they take them to school

  • Have your child’s hearing tested if you have any concerns at all or think that hearing may have been affected when younger e.g. glue ear



Understanding Dyslexia

The SpLD Trust has produced some useful guides about dyslexia for parents and carers. Please follow the link here to be redirected to these documents.



Local Support

Two local charities offer advice and support to parents: - The Wiltshire branch of the British Dyslexia Association - The Marlborough and District Dyslexia Association



Useful links

There is a wealth of information available on the internet about dyslexia. Listed below are some useful websites: – A useful resource from the British Dyslexia Association which is very easy to navigate – The home of the British Dyslexia Association – Funded by the Department of Education, the SpLD Trust informs, advises and signposts training, interventions and up-to-date research on dyslexia – Seeking to empower those with dyslexia to recognise what they can achieve – A global charity led by dyslexics which seeks to promote more understanding of and support for dyslexia – Offers a range of products and services as well as some useful advice – A national charity providing a subscription free service of audio books for those with impaired vision, dyslexia or disabilities that make reading print difficult. – Provides accessible text books and images to support dyslexic or visually impaired learners