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Role of the Healthcare Professional
Since dyslexia is a complex neurological disorder, the role of the physician in the care of children with dyslexia cannot be overstated.
First, exclusion of sensory deficits needs to be done, including appropriate vision and hearing testing, especially if not done in previous year.
The physician also serves an important function in identifying neurological conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), either by screening or by referral to subspecialists such as psychiatrists, neurologists, or developmental pediatricians. If ADHD is diagnosed, the physician plays a vital role in prescribing medication to help manage the symptoms of ADHD, and thus contributes to the overall on-task behavior of the child at school.
Several pediatricians are involved in the national Reach Out and Read© program, by which literacy-promoting books are available to children attending their well-child visits.
It must be remembered that there is no blood test or brain scan test for dyslexia.
Neelkamal S Soares, MD, MBBS, FAAP
Elizabeth A Finley-Belgrad, MD
Mary L Windle, PharmD
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