Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time to have my child assessed?
When is the right time to have my child assessed?

The earlier a child is assessed the quicker we can use appropriate interventions and the quicker you will see results. We sometimes see children during the pre school years when parents are concerned if their child is ready for school and we see students up to Leavinf Certificate level. However the usual age when problems such as dyslexia appear would be in 1st or 2nd class. If you have concerns that you want to discuss in confidence with us why not give us a call in the mornings on 091 555 230.

I think my child may have dyslexia?
I think my child may have dyslexia?

There are many definitions of dyslexia but basically it is difficulty learning to read and spell. It affects all aspects of literacy, reading, spelling, writing and sometimes working with numbers. Recent research shows that children may have difficulty with short term or working memory as well as phonological awareness, that is the ability to break up the words into sounds and to blend sounds together. It is thought that up to 10% of the population have dyslexia. Dyslexia runs in families and research is ongoing into the nature of the causes .


Generally parents may start to notice a problem in senior infants or 1st class, however there can be signs as early as age 3. If your child is aged 5 - 7 and you are concerned download or print out our checklist. If you observe 10 or more of the items on the list you should have your child screened for dyslexia.

Checklists are available for all agegroups, please email us and we can send you the checklist.

How can my child be helped?
How can my child be helped?

There are many programmes developed to help children overcome their dyslexia. One the most effective programmes to date in Ireland has been the Fast ForWord(c) program. This program is available for all children throughout Ireland to use on a computer at home. Fast ForWord improves all aspects of learning as well as literacy because it works on 4 key areas, memory, attention, processing speed and sequencing. The program has been developed in America based on years of neuroscientific research, and has been proven to rewire the brain and improve learning capacity.

Our independent research results show gains of up to 3 years in reading ages in just a few months. (click here to see report)

Hello, I’m Mary O'Dowd

Mary O'Dowd

Education Consultant

Mary is an education consultant and qualified teacher with over 33 years’ experience. In 2005 Mary O’Dowd set up SMART Education, a purpose built independent Learning Centre, to provide educational assessments, consultations, tutorials and workshops for students aged 4 to 18 yrs.

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