Dyslexia in the Context of Social Work: Screening and Early Intervention

June 1, 2021

Schelbe, L., Pryce, J., Petscher, Y., Fien, H., Stanley, C., Gearin, B., & Gaab, N. (2021). Dyslexia in the context of social work: Screening and early intervention. Families in Society, 10443894211042323.


Dyslexia, the most common learning disability, is associated with poor academic, economic, vocational, and health outcomes. Disproportionately, dyslexia is undiagnosed and untreated in children who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) or who live in poverty. Early identification of and subsequent interventions for children at risk for dyslexia can effectively mitigate poor outcomes. While screening and interventions largely occur in schools, social workers across practice contexts have responsibilities to address dyslexia: identifying, referring, educating, and advocating. Social workers should address dyslexia to promote equity and improve quality of life and various outcomes across the life course. This paper describes dyslexia, early screening, and interventions; dyslexia as a social justice issue; and social workers’ roles in addressing dyslexia.

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