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Dyslexia and School Problems

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Q. Will it hurt my child in school to be labeled dyslexic?

My daughter is seven and in second grade. I talked to the school principal about whether she could possibly have dyslexia. He said that it was not "time to panic" and that I didn't want to "label" my child just yet, and I probably didn't want the cost of the test right now either. He said that we should wait and see how she does. My daughter is getting very frustrated and does not want to read very much anymore.

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A. (By Abigail Marshall)
Your principal is giving you the classic runaround. If your child is in a public school iln the U.S., a "label" means:

  1. The school will have to provide appropriate educational support, at their expense, and
  2. Until your daughter is doing well enough to keep up with others in her class,the school will have to provide appropriate accomodations for her.

The school cannot avoid these responsibilities; they are mandated by U.S. law.(Similar laws protect dyslexic children in Canada and the U.K.) The school is also legally required to provide complete testing and evaluation of your child, without cost to the parent -- so why does this principal claim you don't want the cost? He is looking out for his school's budget, not your daughter.

Dyslexia is not a bad thing. It is nothing to panic over; it is a learning difficulty probably shared by about 15% of all schoolchildren, according to U.S. Government figures. That's one out of every seven kids!

The fact that your child is struggling with reading indicates that she is probably dyslexic. The time to get help is when you first notice that your child is having a hard time keeping up in school, or seems unhappy or frustrated. That's because your child is unlikely to be able to overcome her learning problems without extra help. Without help, she will fall further behind, become more frustrated, and experience increasing dismay and embarrassment at school.

For more information, check our FAQ section on Testing for dyslexia.

Q. What kind of training do teachers get about recognizing dyslexia?

I am a college student doing a research paper on the awareness of dyslexia. I was wondering, what kind of training are teachers currently undergoing to become more aware of the obvious signs of this learning disability? I was blessed with dyslexia and was fortunately diagnosed when I was a junior in high school. Now in retrospect, the signs and symptoms of my gift were extremely apparent much earlier. What steps are being made to educate the educators about dyslexia?

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A. (By Abigail Marshall)
Unfortunately it seems that most teachers still get little or no formal training in the area of learning disabilities unless they actively seek it out on their own. We often get letters from new primary grade teachers saying that they found our web site because they know nothing about dyslexia and are trying to learn via the internet. We are delighted that our web site is helping them, but somewhat dismayed that individuals who are trained and certified to teach children to read must do their own research for this basic information.

Davis Dyslexia Association International was established in 1996 with one of our primary goals being teacher training. Since that time, we have been able to provide training to hundreds of teachers throughout the world. We welcome teachers to our basic workshops and also have developed a classroom based program for primary level students, called Davis Learning Strategies.

Q. Should my child repeat the second grade?

My daughter is 8 years old she is in 2nd grade and they just informed us that they are thinking of holding her back from 3rd grade because her reading and writing skills are weak. I have felt for a while that she is dyslexic. She writes many letters backwards. Some days she seems to read okay and other times she will recognize a long, harder word but stumble over a shosrt world like "on" or "the". I am getting a tutor to help us for the summer. Should I wait and see if she improves enough to catch up to go on to third grade, or should I let her repeat the 2nd grade?

Return to Table of Contents. clay model of the word up

A. (By Alison Ormsby)
These are some questions you need to ask yourself:

You are your child's advocate. Listen to the reasons why the school wants your child held back. If it is only for reading and writing, ask them if they would test your daughter for a specific learning disability so she can get more direct help in that area.

A. (By Abigail Marshall)
A child who experiences problems such as reversals (was/saw) and inability to recognize the "small" words (on, the) needs specialized help. The child will not grow out of these problems on her own, and merely repeating a grade will not help. These problems are a barrier to reading that must be removed.

Fortunately, these problems can usually be quickly resolved with the Davis Dyslexia Correction program. Davis Orientation Counseling will immediately help the child resolve perceptual difficulties. The left-right visual sweeping and sequencing exercises of Davis Spell-Reading will help resolve the whole word reversals. Davis Symbol Mastery will help the child master the letters of the alphabet that cause confusion, as well as learning all the small words.

It is quite possible that a parent or tutor would be able to successfully work with this child, following the steps outlined in The Gift of Dyslexia. For more expert help, the family could work with a licensed Davis Facilitator.

If reading and writing are the only reasons the school recommends retention, then the best approach is to address and resolve these barriers through appropriate intervention.

Cite as:
Dyslexia and School Problems. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Davis Dyslexia Association International, Dyslexia the Gift Web site: http://www.dyslexia.com/library/schoolproblems.htm
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This Page Last Modified: Sunday, 02 February 2014.