Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why Advocating for a Child with Dyslexia is so Difficult

Advocating for a child with dyslexia or suspected dyslexia can be tantamount to moving a cruise ship with a piece of string and your teeth but if you pull hard enough and you give the ship enough fuel to move, you can make progress.

Once you set sail the whole ordeal will be worth the struggle. So, why is it so difficult to get appropriate services or even recognition of a problem from most schools?

“Dyslexia is a broad term that covers a lot of different issues.” If I had a dime for every time I heard this mantra that has been adopted by countless participants at IEP meetings, I would have a lot of dimes.

I have to admit, I have had to control my smirk when I hear this mantra and wait for my turn to set the record straight.

The fact is the opposite is true. Dyslexia has a very narrow definition and only includes those students with a phonological processing problem ( for a complete and official definition).

It can be identified with the correct battery of tests that are correctly interpreted.

Solution: Be prepared for this response and do your homework. Bring FAQ sheets with you about dyslexia, ask them about their training in dyslexia, and ask them what they think dyslexia is and how they came to this conclusion and do so in collegiate manner – it’s an academic conversation not an accusation.

Dyslexia is so hotly debated that is important to remain calm in order to truly teach the team about it. Be prepared to compromise and pick your battles.

If they seem to understand the underlying cause of the reading/spelling trouble and seem willing to provide the appropriate strategies, then accept the label Specific Learning Disability.

Last but certainly not least, remind them that dyslexia is listed as one of the conditions under Specific Learning Disability.

This is where the humour comes in: Dyslexia is too broad, but it is listed as one of the eligible conditions.

Specific Learning Disability encompasses every learning disability but it is not too broad? Do you see why I am smirking now? Silly, right?

Read mor eof this article here: Putting the D in to the IEP

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