I feel my child has dyslexia. It is in my family and schools say they will test but won't. My child has difficulties with math and spelling. her test scores show her math is below average along with the broad written language. Scool systems want to say she is lazy and we will not help her with school work. This is far from true. What rights does my child have? where do I go from here. We are devistated
"Dyslexia" as a word could be part of the problem. It's very unpopular in school districts because it means different things to different people. In the broadest sense, it's any unexplained difficulty in learning to read. In the most narrow sense, it's a particular type of reading disorder.
It might be more politic for you to request testing for a "learning disability" related to reading and math. When the school discovers a problem, they will call it a "specific learning disability". The jargon is a nuisance, but it might make it easier to get the help you need if you speak the same lingo.
I'm very familiar with the tactic of blaming the parents for a child's disability. It's maddeningly insulting, but very common. It also tends to isolate a family because other parents at the school will also pick up on it. I refused to remain silent at PTA meetings when folks began discussing families who don't offer appropriate support as the cause of low test scores.17615
How old is your daughter/what grade? As drjohnson and dhfl143 have explained, sometimes it's the "terminology" and use of the word "dyslexia" that gets in the way of proper school evaluations. In addition to joining the Learning and Attention Difficulties Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11554, I'd like to recommend that you familiarize yourself with the site www.wrightslaw.com, and read the book "From Emotions to Advocacy" by the Wrights, who are experts in special education.17614
Write a letter to the principal, send a copy to the school psychologist, guidance counselor and classroom teacher - request a 504 on your daughter. Check out the link sent to you on wrightslaw which is the law that pertains to this. Once a 504 has been requested, the school has a certain amount of time to response to you - (45 days?- check that on wrightslaw) In the meantime, help your daughter as much as you possibly can with her math and any other homework. Spelling is Very Difficult for children with dyslexia and no dyslexic child should be expected to take and pass spelling tests in the traditional way. Some children do rather 'outgrow' their dyslexia - better said they learn to compensate for it over the years but it does take years. My own son is severely dyslexia and now at age 23 can read fairly well but very slowly. Dyslexia is a catch all word that will bother some people but I still like it. It can simply mean - an innate difficulty with reading. Literally 'dyslexia' means difficulty with language and that difficulty can lie in spoken language, word retrieval, decoding written language, spelling etc. Don't be devastated - take your strong feelings and channel them into determination. I read outloud to my son when he couldn't read his school textbooks. We prepared for his tests together. It was exhausting for us both but we got him successfully through school and into college. Have your daughter read every night for 20 minutes in a book that's EASY for her to read - EASY is important. That way her brain will build speed and fluency in reading but the book needs to be an easy read for her. That's important and it's rarely mentioned by schools. Good luck!17613
I found it generally a waste of my energy to involve the school in diagnosing my third grade daughter with dyslexia this year. Our school system doesn't recognize the term but will only test under the broad terminology of "learning disability" Even if my daughter had qualified for that label, they were mostly proposing solutions that involved "more of the same" of what she was getting in class that obviously wasn't working. I realized pretty early on that I would gain nothing by seeking the advice of the school system. It's not that her teachers didn't want to help, they just didn't have a first clue how to help her. My energy was better spent in researching dyslexia and finding the solution on my own.
I put my daughter through the Davis Dyslexia Correction program and it has been nothing short of brilliant. It was the most eye opening experience for dd1 and I. She went from hours spent on homework everyday to about the amount of time someone her age should be spending. Her spelling went from D's to A's. She no longer tearfully refuses to attempt her math. Her confidence level has gone through the roof. She was armed with the tools to access her strengths and talents (dyslexics are some of the smartest folks around, you know) and handle her school life. I can email you with more information if you like. It doesn't have to be a nightmare, it can be every bit a gift in your child's life. I am not a crier but I start to get emotional when I think about what Ron Davis' methods have done for my little girl. I want for everyone else to have the same experience.17612
srhoward, I'm glad that your daughter has made great improvement with the Davis program. Unfortunately, not all dyslexic students do. Greatschools "took over" Schwablearning.com's special education forum last year, and here is a link to several previous SchwabLearning threads on the Davis correction method: www.google.com/cse?cx=015515623285210902616%3Ae5-us28v3b0&ie=UTF-8&q=davis17611
healthy11, your last comment sounds a bit like you are trying to rain on my recommendation. I feel like I need to expound on my response.
I'm not claiming that the Davis program is for all dyslexic individuals. This is probably due in part to the fact that dyslexia has become an umbrella term for a host of reading and other learning issues. I did not intend to point to the Davis program as the only answer to dyslexia.
I'm just an excited parent who wants to share their experience in the hopes that it finds its way into the hands of someone whom it will help. Go and check out the Davis site and contact a facilitator. You'll probably know after that phone call if that is something you will want to pursue. The facilitator required that my daughter be screened before she would work with her. She never tried to sell me on it or became pushy. What she did do was make a lot of sense. My daughter's consultation went so well that she came out glowing. "Mom! She gets it. She understands."
I picked the Davis program only after trying lots of other things for a year or so. The things the school recommended didn't put a dent in my daughter's problems. My gut told me that there was a better answer out there. Our family found that for us.
I'm not saying that anyone shouldn't try to work with the school system. I just wouldn't go into it with too high expectations either. It is my experience and I think the experience of many others. I still don't think the teachers get what my daughter did the week she was out from school. You'd think they would want to know more about her miraculous turn around. Oh well, too bad for them.
You certainly don't have to take my answer as the answer. Just don't give up finding the answer for your child. It is out there. Much luck to you.
tweentybbird: The school had a tendency to say my daughter was being lazy, too. She'd always been a great student until suddenly she wasn't. It is hard not to be like a mother lion when you get in the room with the teachers. You know what your child is going through and my heart goes out to you with empathy for what you are going through.17610
srhoward, I agree that parents shouldn't trust that schools have all the answers, or that whatever the schools recommend "must be the right approach." My son has ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia, and is now a college freshman. He's not "cured" of all his problems, despite years and years of different approaches, but he's dealing with them. I really am glad that the Davis method worked for your child, but I also think it's important that people realize it hasn't worked for others. There's no "single solution" that works the same for everyone with dyslexia.17609
Hi srhoward29, My son is 6 and he has a hard time reading,spelling and shows all the signs of dyslexia, they tested him at school for "learning dissabilities" and the conclusion is he passed everything he just can't read, but he will catch up" Could you please let me know about this Davis program? I am in northern NJ and I am having a hard time with the Public school system, they are not equipped to handle children with dyslexia. Is Private School the only solution?17608
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