If your child has dyslexia and you have any questions regarding this learning disability, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.


Dyslexia is a language-based learning difficulty characterized by challenges in reading. It affects a person’s ability to accurately and fluently recognize words by linking sounds with symbols, a process known as decoding. Dyslexia can create obstacles in reading, spelling, and writing, limiting exposure to advanced vocabulary and background knowledge, which impacts learning across various subjects. Despite these challenges, individuals with dyslexia often exhibit high intelligence and motivation to learn, though they may feel frustrated by their reading struggles.

It’s important to note that this description of dyslexia reflects ongoing research by experts in reading and language. If you suspect your child may have dyslexia or another reading or learning disorder, seeking evaluation from a qualified professional is crucial. Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly support academic progress and prevent skill gaps from widening over time.

What Distinguishes Dyslexia From Other Disabilities?

Dyslexia’s reading difficulties originate from neurobiological factors and relate to deficits in phonological processing, rather than being caused by low cognitive ability, ADHD, or vision problems. Although these conditions can contribute to learning challenges in dyslexic children, they are not the root cause. While it’s a common belief that dyslexia causes letter reversals or flipping, this phenomenon does occur occasionally but isn’t a defining characteristic of dyslexia. Instead, dyslexic children typically struggle with reading aloud, phonetic decoding, and may find writing tasks challenging. They often read slowly, which affects their comprehension and ability to answer questions accurately.

Other specific learning disabilities like dysgraphia (impairing written expression) and dyscalculia (affecting math skills) exist, but dyslexia can impact these areas as well due to its impact on foundational literacy skills essential across academic disciplines. For instance, a dyslexic child’s math performance may suffer due to difficulty comprehending written math problems accurately.

Special Education Services for Dyslexia

Once your child has been assessed and diagnosed with a specific learning disability in reading, they may require tailored reading instruction, alongside support in other areas like writing, math, or speech and language. Special education and related services for a dyslexic child should be customized to address their unique needs. Their Individualized Education Program (IEP) should include specific, measurable annual goals aimed at improving skills such as reading decoding, comprehension, spelling (encoding), and writing, among others impacted by dyslexia. The IEP must detail the frequency, location, and duration of specialized reading and academic instruction, as well as designate the responsible service provider. Many children benefit from structured, multisensory language-based learning approaches like the Orton-Gillingham method.

Regular reassessment of your child’s reading skills, compared against baseline data, ensures they are making sufficient progress. You can request ongoing updates on their reading program’s effectiveness and schedule IEP team meetings to review progress and adjust their program as needed.

Dyslexia Evaluations

Some states, such as Connecticut, have introduced “Specific Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia” as a distinct primary disability category within Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This means it’s now possible to identify a child requiring special education and related services under this new designation. Connecticut’s IEP also retains a broader category for “Specific Learning Disabilities.” To qualify under SLD/Dyslexia, a child must first meet the eligibility criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities and then additionally meet specific criteria for Dyslexia.

Regardless of whether your child’s IEP identifies them as having dyslexia, the IDEA mandates that their school program address all aspects of their disability that impact their education. If evaluations show deficiencies in your child’s reading abilities, you should request specific goals to target those weaknesses. Sometimes, evaluations may seem inaccurate, incomplete, or insufficient in assessing potential reading or other learning disabilities in your child. In such situations, you have the option to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) conducted by an expert specializing in dyslexia to provide a more thorough and accurate assessment. A special education advocate or attorney can help you navigate this process and secure the evaluations and educational programming necessary for your child to advance in reading skills.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or to schedule a free initial consultation today.