Dyslexia Treatment: FSA Eligibility
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is among the most common learning disabilities in the U.S. today, which affects 15 to 20 percent of the American population as children and adults. Although it takes on a wide variety of forms and extremes, individuals with dyslexia have difficulty identifying sounds relating to normal speech with the letters and words they relate to, which is a common learning disability in children but can go completely undiagnosed long into adulthood in some cases. Dyslexia has been linked with some genes that relate to brain development, and while it tends to run in families, researchers have not been able to locate a direct cause for the condition and there is no medical cure (International Dyslexia Association).
What is dyslexia treatment?
The vast majority of individuals who seek out treatment for dyslexia are children, but adults may also require treatment if they experience reading or speaking difficulties later in life. The primary treatment for dyslexia is tutoring sessions and other educational therapies with a reading specialist who will work to improve the patient's hearing, vision and touch cues to better process information and reduce the difficulty the patient experiences when reading or speaking. However, the vast majority of dyslexia cases relate to some type of vision or hearing abnormality that is contributing to a person's difficulty in deciphering speech and relating them to specific sounds.
While educational therapies have long been the standard treatment for dyslexia, it's vital for doctors to assess a child or adult's current state of health to investigate whether any outside medical issues may be contributing to the condition. For instance, children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to be dyslexic, and researchers have found that taking medications to control ADHD symptoms and anxiety may have a positive effect on issues relating to dyslexia. Additionally, doctors will investigate to see whether any physical problems, such as vision or hearing difficulties, could be contributing to the severity of dyslexia (Mayo Clinic).
While there is no medication or direct cure for dyslexia available, medical techniques developed over the past decades may have positive effects for some individuals with dyslexia. For instance, in recent years, doctors have found some correlations between occupational/sensory integration, nutrition and allergies, chiropractic and dental treatments with dyslexia symptoms that could prove valuable for some patients. Treatments that specifically treat the medical condition of dyslexia are eligible to be reimbursed through consumer-directed healthcare accounts like FSAs, HSAs and HRAs. Amounts paid for regular schooling would not qualify.