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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Affording Academic Support For Students with Dyslexia


Will Insurance Companies Pay for Academic Support Outside of School?
Many families hope that their insurance coverage can help lessen the financial burden of academic assistance for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, as study skills, development of cognitive abilities and homework help is often necessary for this population.  Although this appears to be a reasonable service, particularly for children that have a diagnosis, upon investigation, you will find that this is not the case.  Insurance companies will often accommodate medical and mental health services, but because tutors, learning specialists and educational therapists, are trained primarily in education, they don’t have the licensing credentials and codes needed for insurance companies to cover the costs. 

Are There Any Tax Benefits for Tutoring for Students with Dyslexia and other Learning Disabilities?
Before disregarding this option all together, there is good news.  According to the IRS publication 502, under the heading Special Education, with a doctor’s note, parents can include in medical expense fees the costs for tutoring by a teacher who is trained and qualified to work with learning disabilities.  Moreover, check with your employer to see if they have any other options.  Some large companies, such as IBM, offer financial support for these types of services.   

Are There Any Tax Benefits for Special Schooling for Students with Learning Disabilities?
According to the IRS publication 502, again with a doctor's note, families can be compensated for a child attending a school where the primary reason is overcoming a learning disability.  

So How Do I Decide on the Right Type of Services?
First off, make sure that you pursue a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment. This can be done through your local school district.  However, please note that many school districts often do inadequate testing, so finding a professional in your community that can do a comprehensive evaluation is best.  Make sure that they provide a thorough report that discloses the underlying cognitive weaknesses associated with the learning disability.  Then, find a highly-trained tutor, learning specialist or educational therapist in your area that can offer the remedial help needed.   Click here to read an article on finding the right professional.  Be sure to speak with each potential provider, so that you can find the best fit for your child.  

Early intervention and support is key for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.  If young learners get the right help, some areas of deficits can be remediated and children can also develop compensatory and self advocacy strategies that will help them to attain their highest potential.
 
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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