Dyslexia?  Your child can succeed in school!

Recently, I received an email from a client who had hired me after years trying to get their son, who has dyslexia, proper services at his school. They tried to navigate the system, through charter schools and tutoring sessions and “Student Success” meetings at school, but he kept failing.  We helped them get a proper assessment of his needs, and then, secured much better services.  Student F’s mother wrote about her experience with our office:

“She has a firm understanding of the law and great empathy for the family she serves.  I especially appreciated the time she took to help me understand the process and consider resolutions I had not thought of.”

dyslexiaThe mom’s email had an attachment, a video by her son, speaking of his experience and progress with the services we had procured for him.  Before, he was defeated, and felt left-out at school.  Now he is articulate, confident, and demonstrably proud. See for yourself:

Dyslexia and Learning

Dyslexia is a prevalent learning disability. Some estimates suggest that it affects between 5–10% of the population.  It is a kind of specific learning disability (“SLD”).  Students with SLDs make up 40% of the special education student population in the USA. A child with dyslexia can succeed in school!

Dyslexia occurs because an impairment in the information processing ability in the brain affects language development, which in turn makes is hard for the child to learn to read, and often, to make sense of academic instruction and material.  There are research-based interventions and teaching strategies that help children with dyslexia to overcome it.

Children with dyslexia can and should receive these specialized interventions, through an IEP.

Sadly, many children with dyslexia are unidentified, and their teachers perceive them as problematic students who are resistant to learning.  It is especially true that children of color with dyslexia are frequently characterized as “behavior problems” and this further delays appropriate instruction and intervention.  When teachers treat a student as rebellious or lazy, the child’s self-esteem can be badly affected.   This is compounded because once the child has fallen behind, it becomes more and more difficult to catch up.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence and is a disability that can be remediated and overcome with appropriate strategies that address the child’s needs.

Parents need to be informed and advocate for their child to get appropriate assistance. Parents can also make a big difference by  recognizing, appreciating and reinforcing their child’s strengths in other areas such as the creative arts or sports, which is vital for confidence building.  You can also help your child to find learning strategies that work, like using mind maps, pictures, or color-coding. Different ways of thinking and learning can be positive, and when properly supported a child with dyslexia can become a self-aware, focused and resilient adult.

Ford’s is not the only success story.  Check out this personal story by Ben Worthington, an English teacher who was diagnosed with dyslexia aged 11. Given the right support, dyslexia, he says, can be a gift.

“Dyslexics interpret concepts differently; they envision the entire machinery of the problem, often discovering an unseen interconnectedness. In a society where routine tasks are swiftly being replaced by artificial intelligence and robots, creative skills have never been more valued, and dyslexics have this in abundance!”

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