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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,784
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,784
Senior Member
Identifying dyslexia
Old 10-21-2019, 05:06 PM
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My state is doing a big "structured literacy" initiative which is basically explicit phonics instruction. We have been doing this at my school for years, so nothing new to us, but as our district has been "selected" to participate in the statewide process, we now have a bunch of coaches and state level people doing PD/observations/coaching.

One of the "coaches" keeps sending out articles to the staff on dyslexia. A common theme is schools refusing to use the word dyslexia (and using umbrella terms like "specific learning disability" instead), not providing sped services, etc. She just sent a long article along those lines with stories about students whose schools "denied" special education due to average grades and standardized test scores.

This makes NO sense to me. We've been told BY THE STATE that we are not to say kids are dyslexic because it's a medical diagnosis. We've had teachers/parents who have balked at that, but my thing has always been that one doesn't need a word/label to receive the proper interventions. If we see that they have deficits in phonological awareness, phonics, spelling, etc. then that's what their services are focused on. Officially using the word "dyslexia" wouldn't change a single thing. I also personally don't like that because I feel like teachers focus on dyslexia being some super special/different thing that only a special ed teacher knows how to "fix," when there are research based ways of teaching reading that ALL teachers should be using.

The other thing is that we've always been told that in order to receive an IEP, there must be an educational impact. In my state, the two main qualifiers for SLD are performance significantly below peers and non-response to research based interventions. If a kid has "dyslexic tendencies" but is able to achieve average/above average grades and standardized test scores with no intervention, how can they legally qualify for an IEP?

PS- Just in case anyone is curious, here is the latest article we received:

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