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5.1 Resources for Parents

Parenting is both challenging and rewarding. Parenting a child with dyslexia often has some added challenges, including finding credible and helpful information about dyslexia. There is a lot of information about dyslexia in the media, in books and articles, and online. Unfortunately, not all of these resources are reliable. Some of the information about dyslexia, the assessment of dyslexia, and the treatment of dyslexia is based on credible science, while other sources and services are not. In this chapter, reliable informational resources, professional organizations, and services are listed to aid parents and others who care about these children in better understanding dyslexia and its potential impact on a child’s development, school success, and future.

Parents know their child best. They are often the first to notice differences in their child’s early development or to notice early school difficulties. Sometimes, parents readily recognize these signs as possibly being related to dyslexia, because they or someone else in their family has dyslexia. Other times, it is difficult to understand early signs or early school difficulties because the child is smart, curious, and capable at so many other activities. Children with dyslexia are just like children without dyslexia. They have unique interests, strengths, and talents. Some are great athletes, while others might be musical or artistic. Some are interested in science and nature, while others love to build, dance, or sing, or to think about becoming a fireman or an astronaut.

Children with dyslexia are children first. Dyslexia should not define who they are or limit what they can become or accomplish. With good, reliable information, parents and other family members can become an integral member of their child’s support system. Parents can help their children learn; they can support their children when learning is hard, and when school becomes challenging and learning to read or spell is frustrating. Parents and families, armed with knowledge of dyslexia and available resources, can be powerful advocates for their child’s learning needs and success. How you view your child is important. Be informed, be ready to educate others, and be prepared to help your child and yourself understand how best to overcome — and perhaps embrace — the challenges of learning differently.

The Colorado Department of Education does not endorse specific products, services or individuals; however, the resources listed in this chapter have been found to offer reliable information. Since it would be impossible to list all available resources here, consulting the following organizations is suggested.  Each is highly regarded as credible, each continuously updates its resources, and each offers online access to fact sheets, handbooks, articles, videos, and extensive bibliographies.


The International Dyslexia Association

The Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association



Parents and other family members are encouraged to learn about dyslexia. The books listed below provide credible information about dyslexia and include suggestions for parents and caretakers. Parents can contact their local public library about the availability of these resources.

Books for Parents

Overcoming Dyslexia (2004), Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

Parenting a Struggling Reader: A Guide to Diagnosing and Finding Help for Your Child’s Reading Difficulties (2002), Louisa C. Moats and Susan L. Hall

Straight Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference During Early Years (1999), Susan L. Hall and Louisa C. Moats

The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain (2012), Brock Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D.

The Myth of Laziness (2004), Mel Levine, M.D.

Books about Teaching Reading

The following three books offer information about reading instruction in a manner that most non-educators may find helpful:

Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys (2013), Isabel Beck and Mark Beck

Phonics from A to Z: A Practical Guide (2013), Wiley Blevins

Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction (2010), Marcia Henry

Other Helpful Resources

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers online access to “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?” The information will help parents learn about important speech and language developmental milestones during children’s first five years and how parents can help.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has “CDC’s Developmental Milestones” to help parents watch for important markers in their child’s growth and development. The CDC’s “Developmental Milestones” is also available in Spanish.

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity offers an extensive “What is Dyslexia” website with a range of information and resources for families, including articles such as Ten Things to Help Your Struggling Reader; a section called School Strategies; and a section called Success Stories, which contain inspirational article about John Hickenlooper, a man with dyslexia who has served as mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado. The center’s main website offers numerous other success stories about individuals with dyslexia, including current Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, and a host of artists, designers, scientists, lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs. The website also offers a section on assistive technology (e.g., recording pens and voice-to-text software).

Reading Rockets offers free access to research reports, videos/podcasts, a monthly parent e-newsletter with tips, a special section titled Helping Struggling Readers, and reading guides for parents and teachers of young readers, including the popular guide Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science.

Learning Ally is a resource for parents and students who are looking for audiobooks and other information about dyslexia. Started in 1948 as Recording for the Blind (RFB), the organization changed its name to Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) in 1995. In 2011, the organization changed its name to Learning Ally.

Book Share is another helpful website about free access to eBooks, with audio, highlighted text, large font and other formats.

The Colorado Talking Book Library, which is part of the Library of Congress’ National Library Service (NLS) and the Colorado State Library, provides access to audiobooks for people who cannot read standard print.

The Assistive Technology Partners at the University of Colorado is a state-based resource for information and expertise in the area of assistive technology, ranging from mobility devices to learning and cognitive aids.

The Center for Improving Literacy offers an online website for parent and families on ways that parents can help their child learn to read and write.


Dyslexia Link Icon 


The Colorado Department of Education has additional links to other assistive technology websites and resources on its Resource for MTSS, RtI, Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology webpage