• Facts about dyslexia
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Shae, it is never too late. My boys were not diagnosed with dyslexia until they were in their late teens. What can be done varies with each individual, because dyslexia can involve a number of issues: trouble organizing their ideas in written form, possibly ADHD, rote memory struggles, etc.. What is true for all dyslexics is that they will need work on their decoding skills, unless they have already undergone extensive training in an Orton-Gillingham based reading program. The teachers in our schools were never taught the phonetic code of our language in college, other than simple basics like double vowel talkers and such. Thus they are not prepared to help dyslexic kids. School psychologists are generally used for testing whether a student is eligible for special education services, but not for diagnosing a student's learning issues. Some districts and states are concerned about dyslexia, and are trying to do something about it. They are in the minority though.

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Do you read aloud to your students
U.S. parents: make absolutely sure you know more about IDEA 2004 and state Ed code than teachers and administrators - it's your concern about your child's LIFE and FUTURE vs. their concern about their paycheck and pension. KNOW and exercise your legal rights (meaning request specific assessments to address your concerns about dyslexia, especially if one parent is dyslexic.) When the school psychologist comes back and miraculously doesn't determine dyslexia (common), get the outside expert and keep pushing because even with outside PROOF of dyslexia, the administration is happy to let your child's self esteem suffer, spend 3 hours doing simple homework, have you lose your sanity - all so they don't have to implement new methodologies. Expect to get RTI'd to death - don't let them. I have a client that had TWO outside assessments that clearly ID'd dyslexia (dad is dyslexic) and finally threatened to pull child out of school district to place at dyslexia-speciality school; on 8th day of 10th day district had to respond, they relented. Parents IEP goals were finally implemented, private tutor expert in research-based methodologies for dyslexic students was hired and 4th grade boy went from reading 17 wpm (yes, 17!!) to 180 wpm inside 18 months. Now, mom is getting her certification, teaching parents how to advocate as she learned from me as her advocate and SpED director quit. Keep at it parents - squeakiest, informed, rights-exercising parents get the grease for their children and the opposite is also true.


Is there ever a time when students are too old to be read to

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I understand parents frustration with schools and wanting the school to suggest thT the child be tested for dyslexia. Being in the school system, specifically as a special educator, I can tell you that most schools will never suggest you get testing from an out side source. The reason for thisnis that legally, if they suggest it, they have to pay for it. The teachers, even the principalsnin most cases do not have the power to say yes to that without the superintendent or the director of support services permission. It is the all mighty dollar. If you do not follow the proper protocol you can be written up. Parents are always welco e to get out side evaluations and have them considered by the school. I am not sure about all states but my state does not consider dyslexia to be a disability category. One of the main contributors to this decision is that the National Dyslexic foundation does not consider Dyslexia a disability just another way of thinking. Schools in the Northeast and again not all, have made efforts to make learning more universal. Some practices include using phonetic systems that were originally designed for students with dyslexia such as Wilson Reading system and its spin off Fundations. The blame game is not helping anyone. The child's best advocate is the parent. If you think your child would benifit fro an evaluation done by the school, your best bet is to write a letter to the principal and cc it to the superintendent. This will be thw quickest wasnto ensure a sit down meeting where the school knows you are serious. Please, please don't be afraid to ask and advocate. Remembder the sqeaky wheel gets the grease!

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