There has been a great deal of debate whether or not schools recognize the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia. Even the schools themselves have been confused. Generally using terms like "Specific Learning Disability" instead.
How's that for an avoidance tactic?
It is hard enough for a child with a learning disability such as dyslexia to learn in the classroom? It is hard for teacher to teach that student while keeping up with the rest of the class? And nearly impossible for the teacher to give the individual instruction the student needs.
But the worst part has been the dancing around what to call it. Not using specific terms and definitions leads to not addressing the issues in the specific ways needed to help the child.
Not only has the confusion around what to call it made things worse. It has also distracted people from solutions. Endlessly arguing over the mundane rather than getting to a solution.
The U.S. Department of Education has stepped up (Just a little, and in a way as to not ruffle any feathers) with some clarification. Basically what they have said is that it is not prohibited.
U.S. Department of Education issues a statement to schools about dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.
The letter recommends that states check their policies to ensure there is no prohibition of the words. It goes on to say that the words can be used in evaluations and that being more specific about a condition can mean providing better services.
That's a lot of bureaucracy to state the obvious. Nevertheless a move forward. At that pace, we can't expect a lot of progress soon. At least it is the right direction. Maybe our children's grandchildren can benefit.
If your school still refuses to recognize the term bringing in a copy of the letter may be helpful. It may open up the right discussions. You can get a copy of the letter here.
The statement recommends states
- Motivate school systems to provide better training.
- Gives resources to teachers to learn about aiding children who have learning disabilities.
It doesn't affect state law in any way or provide anything overly specific. But at least it can end the debate about whether or not schools can use the words. Whether they will or not remains to be seen.
The Department of Education letter explains dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.
The letter gives some benefits for using the terms. It states.
- The ability to use these words allows better alignment between identifying child learning disabilities.
- Correctly matches the already existent services provided for students with these needs.
- These terms are appropriate words to use when describing a child’s learning disability.
Although schools are not yet required to use such terms. They are encouraged to do so for consistency purposes across the country.
Don't Wait for the Slow Crawl of Bureaucracy
If you are interested in hearing it, here's a video interview where Michael Yudin discusses use of the terms
It is important for every parent to take an interest in their child’s education.
Perhaps you have noticed some grading issues. Or perhaps your child is having a difficult time in one specific subject. If you find that the meetings with teachers and advisers are not offering a realistic plan to help your child achieve success, it is time to take action.
While it is a positive move, it is pretty obvious that it's not anything revolutionary. Maybe a few generations from now the bureaucratic engine will get us to a system that really benefits our children. There are certainly a lot of wonderful people fighting for that.
The system moves slowly. Far too slowly to benefit the children of today in any substantial way.
Parents today know that the only way to truly help their children enhance their natural learning ability and excel in school is to use an at-home system which builds up learning. Each child has unique needs. Needs which can only be met by individual attention by a parent guided by a system to do so.
That's why parents today are turning in droves to the Learning Success System. They know that with just a little bit of the right sort of help at home their child can thrive in school. Even if they have fallen grade levels behind.
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