Schools for Dyslexia

You may be surprised to learn there are schools that specialize in providing support for dyslexic children, but it's a remarkably deep private school niche, especially in the United Kingdom. We didn't learn about two schools for dyslexic students in Ottawa until long after we had committed to the public system.

You will find that some schools cater exclusively to dyslexic students while others include students with a variety of learning disabilities including dyslexia. While it may be nice to enroll in a school specifically for dyslexia, more important is the quality of the school as a whole.

Quick Links to Schools for Dyslexia Pages

UK Schools

US Schools

Canadian Schools

Enrolling your child in a private school, whether full or part time, is a major decision.  We hope this page and the school lists we have assembled will help you in that process. The icons above are links to our country specific lists of schools for the US, UK and Canada. For U.S. visitors, complete lists of schools and tutoring centers are included as part of our Parent Guide.

We try our best, but there are a lot of schools to keep track of, so please let us know of any schools that should be added to or removed from the lists. 

5 Tips for Getting Started

Five things to consider when thinking of enrolling your child in a school for dyslexic students:

1) Be sure to have completed a psycho-educational assessment or dyslexia test of your child before you look for a school. Don't put the horse ahead of the cart. If your child is not properly assessed how will you know if you need a school or if the school has suitable curriculum and methods for you?

Of course the school may conduct it's own (re-)assessment, but we recommend having an assessment done in advance before approaching any school. This eliminates any bias the school may have toward concluding that your child a good match for their approach.

2) Consider whether you need a private school at all. Private schools for dyslexia can be expensive and may not provide as much specialized curriculum as you think. For example, are they teaching math and science based on the needs of dyslexics or just reading and language arts? If your child has mild dyslexia, a public school may meet your needs just fine.

3) Don't avoid choosing a school because of some belief that there might be a stigma or that inclusive public classes are always the best. Most schools for dyslexia offer very positive experiences for students and are filled with normal kids, just kids that need special help with reading.

4) Consider whether there maybe financial support available to offset the cost of the school. In some countries and regions private and public money is available for students.

5) Meet with or talk to the prospective school administration and be sure to visit the school itself. Further below you will find specific questions to ask when considering a specific school

Finding a School

We have assembled a database of schools that are either fully dedicated to dyslexic students or that cater to dyslexics among other learning disabilities. We have divided the database up by country (Canada, U.S. and U.K. to start)

Ultimately, we will expand the database to include information on curriculum and methods employed, anecdotal stories, evidence and reports from former students or their parents and comments from you, the visitors to this site.  

The lists of schools for dyslexia can be found by clicking on the flag links above. 

7 Questions to Ask Prospective Schools

Deciding among private schools for dyslexia is a big decision. Be sure to seek as much information as possible to inform your choice. Our assessments of schools are based on their curriculum, methods, mission, reputation and anecdotal evidence from past students, parents and visitors to our site like you. Here are some questions to ask during your visit to the school:

  1. What Kind of students do you cater to?

    If may be best if they cater exclusively to dyslexics, but don't be put off if they accommodate other learning disabilities. In order to survive, most private schools, even niche schools, have to be somewhat flexible in their mission and recruiting.

  2. What curriculum and methods do you use? Do you use them in all courses or just in language arts and reading?

    You should be looking for multisensory, systematic methods, based on the Orton Gillingham approach. This should include teaching phonemes, comprehension, fluency and spelling?

  3. What kind of individualized education plan do you prepare for students?

    Most schools for dyslexia will prepare a detailed plan for each student. Ask to see a sample, or better yet a draft plan for your child. 

  4. What is the cost of enrollment and what exactly does it include? Books? Meals? Extracurricular Activities? Music?

    Some are boarding schools for dyslexia, so prices may vary accordingly.

  5. Is there a parent's association or parent council for the school that can be contacted for advice?

    Parents of previous students are your best bet for getting the real story about the school. If there is a parent body that liaises with the school administration get in touch with the Chair person. Later, you may want to consider joining if you have the time!

  6. Has your school been independently reviewed/assessed by private or public organizations?

    After parents of previous students, your best bet for information on the school would be independent assessments or reviews. Ask if the school has been evaluated or audited by a third party.

  7. What is your approach to discipline and behavioral problems? How do you combat bullying, drugs etc?

    Better private schools for dyslexia have programs to ensure every student has a positive experience.

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