Dyslexia

As a parent of two children with Dyslexia we realize how much it has affected our life.  For  years I was a Special Education Teacher. I worked with students with Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disturbances, Hearing Impairment, Autism and more, but I had little chance to learn about Dyslexia. In Texas, Dyslexia falls under a 504 qualifying condition under the American Disabilities Act – not Special Education. When my own children began to struggle, I knew there was a problem and knew what to do in terms of Special Education. I didn’t understand how to get them into Special Education. I was faced with obstacle after obstacle. My first experience was the school wanting to hold my child back in pre-k, but they didn’t want to do anything with her for intervention. Then, they wanted to hold her back in Kindergarten, but again, no intervention. “She just has an early birthday.” “She needs to mature.” I finally requested Dyslexia testing and found out that there was a disconnect between letters and sounds.  She was referred into a specific program and received extensive phonological instruction.

So, we moved forward.  The second time we encounter dyslexia was with my third daughter. Her first grade teacher told her that “she didn’t have time to make sure that [my child] had time to write down her spelling words” “she needed to be more organized”  This was a child who seemed to be picking up on reading relatively well so I couldn’t understand what the problem was.  She failed every spelling test in 2nd grade before the school conceded to the fact that there might be a problem.   Again, we had her tested and she has one of the worse cases they had seen. To this day, she cannot spell adequately and uses a handheld spell check in 7th grade.

Since then, I have completed extensive research on Dyslexia and the brain and brain functions, signs of Dyslexia, treatments/interventions for Dyslexia and much more.  However, there is nothing like that first encounter with the school when your child starts to struggle.  Even as an educator I experienced push back and I let them push me back.  It was heartbreaking seeing my babies struggle so much – spending HOURS on spelling words and decodable readers. PLEASE contact me if you are seeing signs in your child that you think might be related to Dyslexia!

If you are having any concerns with your child’s reading skills, please contact me.

817-681-3250

For more information, visit my website and view the Dyslexia page for signs, symptoms and statistics.

 

Report cards

Most of you should have received your child’s report card by now. If not, most schools have an on-line parent portal where you can check grades.

If your child has a ’70’ or below- it is time to contact me or the school. Most schools will give a 70 or 50 for being there the first six weeks. Most WILL NOT give below a 50 because they feel the child can not “catch up” in order to be able to pass the semester.

On some report cards, you will also see “accommodations” listed beside the grades. This means that this is the grade the student received with accommodations.

You always have the right to see the “regular” assignment vs. the “accommodated” (what accommodations were used).

Please contact me if you notice that your child is taking an unusually long time completing homework. This can be a red flag for attention or learning problems.

Thanks for joining me!

Honors and Pre-AP Classes

Did you know that your child may still be able to participate in Honor’s/gifted and talented or Pre-Ap classes?

Often kids with disabilities get overlooked for these programs because they qualify for Special Ed, however depending on HOW they qualify may make the difference.

In numerous studies, it has shown that students with Dyslexia have average to above average IQ so these classes are a better fit than “traditional classes”.

Students that qualify with Hearing Impairment, Speech Impairment or ADHD may also qualify.

Finally, a large number of students with Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome do have higher IQs and not only benefit from these programs, but thrive.

AND the teacher still has to follow accommodations from their IEPs. For example, spell check, calculators, quiet place to cool off.

Where is my child?

Most schools have been in session for at least two weeks at this time. Why is this an important ?

If your child is in the wrong classroom, they can be considered “out of placement” and the school is not following your child’s IEP.  The student can legally be out of placement for up to 10 days, then the school has to offer what is called compensatory services. This means that they have to make up the time that your child has missed on services. 

Students often need schedule changes at the beginning of the school year or semester and Special Education Students may be overlooked in this process. Double check with your child or school today to make sure your child is getting the right services.

For example, if you have a child that is supposed to be in a Co -Teach or Inclusion they should have seen this teacher by now – ask your child who it is; call them. Make sure they also have your child’s IEP.  Since the school also has 10 days to get that information out, they should have that by now also.

Other possible scenarios:

  • Your child is served in a self-contained class  and has “out classes” with support.
  • Your child has Resource Classes (often called pull – out) for ELA/Math only.
  • Inclusion support for Science/Social Studies?

Dyslexia and Intervention services also should have been started by now so that your child does not get further behind.

Many schools may use the excuse that they are understaffed. This does not excuse them from implementing your child’s IEP!

** Side note:  if your child has Inclusion or Co-Teach, the school should be providing a sub if that teacher is out of the classroom.   You always have a right to request documentation that services are being provided.

If you need help talking to your school contact me and I can help!