To become a dyslexia specialist, you will typically need to earn a professional license as either a special education teacher or a clinical psychologist. During your prelicensing training or after your licensure, you will also need to pursue additional training in the assessment and treatment of dyslexia. Some jurisdictions may require you to obtain additional certification or licensing in particular areas of education or psychology, while others may not have such requirements. In some cases, you may need to be employed in a generalist capacity for a few years before you can become a dyslexia specialist.
Dyslexia is a disorder that compromises an individual's ability to read. Symptoms vary, but individuals who have this condition may have difficulty recognizing words or comprehending the meaning of what they read. It should be noted that individuals who have dyslexia are not necessarily intellectually compromised, and some may be people of high intelligence. Dyslexia is not caused by vision impairment. Typically, an individual will need to undergo an extensive dyslexia assessment conducted by an educational or psychological professional to determine whether dyslexia is at the root of the individual's reading problems. There are a variety of treatments available for dyslexia, which may include remedial reading instruction as well as supportive counseling, which can help those with dyslexia manage issues related to shame or low self-esteem.
If you are interested in working with those who have this condition, you can typically become a dyslexia specialist through different career paths. For example, you can become a dyslexia specialist by completing a degree in education and then receiving additional training in reading disorders. Another option is to become a clinical psychologist, which will help you prepare for testing people for dyslexia. You may also be able to choose postgraduate residencies and fellowships in working with dyslexic clients. In both cases, you may be required to choose whether you wish to become a dyslexia specialist who primarily works with adults or children, as the needs of specific age groups differ considerably.
In situations where you are already working as an educator or clinical psychologist and want to become a dyslexia specialist, it's a good idea to investigate training options. If you are already employed as a teacher, for example, your school may be able to assist you in paying for additional training in both special education and assessing and treating dyslexia. If you are a clinical psychologist, you may wish to look into continuing education opportunities as well as certification programs in assessing dyslexia and other reading problems.