According to Helen Irlen:
“It’s important to diagnose learning disabilities as early as possible in the child’s educational career. Although it is often difficult to determine if a child has a learning disability before he or she is six or seven years old, the sooner it is detected the better. That way, the child can receive special services and treatment sooner. Learning disabilities that are not diagnosed until later often become more severe as the school curriculum becomes more complicated. That can make it even more difficult for the child.” (p.86)
“Symptoms of learning disabilities to watch for include delays in language development, problems with speech, difficulties with coordination, and a short attention span. Children who have learning disabilities might have difficulty understanding what they see or hear. But remember, the existence of any of those symptoms does not necessarily mean the child has a learning disability. Parents who have questions or concerns about their child’s development should speak to the child’s physician or an education expert.
What else can parents look for? Watch for any child who is putting more energy into the learning process than normally would appear necessary. Parents need to be sensitive to how many and how often compensatory strategies are used to survive in the classroom.
Parents might ask, ‘Do I read assignments to my child? Do I edit my child’s work before it is turned in? Must I work alongside my child for work to be completed? Does it take my child hours to complete simple homework assignments? Does my child have difficulty putting ideas down on paper? Does my child resist doing written work? Does my child dictate his work and then copy what I have written down?‘” (pp.86-87)
Ref: Helen Irlen (2005) Reading By Colors: Overcoming dyslexia and other reading difficulties through the Irlen method. Penguin: New York