I haven’t actually told either my 8yo or 12yo sons that they have dyslexia. Actually, I haven’t even gotten the older one tested.
They recognize that they have certain difficulties when it comes to reading and writing, even numbers. We do what we can to work within their boundaries, but I do not allow them to get away with doing less than their best.
I think that the title itself is actually fairly worthless to a child. It gives the adults who work with him or her an idea of which tools to use and how to relate to the child. The label can give the child a sense of doom – I’ll never be able to get this because I’m ____ – or a sense of entitlement – I don’t have to do this because I’m ____ .
Of course, a person has to know, at some point, what his own personal limitations are. You, as the parent and as the responsible adult, have the responsibility of judging when your son has the neccessary maturity, understanding, and perseverance to process the information you have regarding his condition. Odds are, he already knows he’s different, he just doesn’t know the name of that difference. It is up to you to decide if knowing that name will either help him to come to terms with it or overwhelm him with the weight of his differences.
God bless you and him on your combined journey of self-discovery.