Monday, December 29, 2008

5) Institutions serve their own agendas.

This post is part of series on 7 Principles every parent should know about dyslexic children.

All human institutions: government, corporations and schools serve their own selfish self interest. This is called politics or the survival instinct. Organizations that fail to look out for there own self interest fail to continue to exist. They may have wonderful ulterior motives, but when individuals with in these institutions threaten the legitimate ideology and psychological stability of the institution - there is a predictable response that the individual most conform to fit the situation. Dyslexic students are by definition unable to conform to fit the model that every other student in the school is able to fit. Thus a dyslexic student feels an incredible amount of stress to conform to the standards of normalcy by learning to read.

If the student is unable to conform they will be viewed by the teachers, staff and other students as a burden. This is not to say there are not exceptions to this rule, but as a parent it is very important that you understand this basic ground rule. You must learn everything you can about how your school works and what options are available, who are the best teachers, who has the best reputation as special ED support person and what legal rights you have.

Rights you have…
1) You have the right to have your child tested to be find out if your child has a learning disability. You do not have to pay for this right. This right is guaranteed by Federal Law.
2) Your child has the right to an equal playing field - The test can discover how to give your child the same access to learning and success that other students have by themselves.
3) Your child has the right to go to school in a safe environment. No child should be treated or identified as different in front of there peers. Dances caps are out!
4) Your child do not have to attend special ed classes with out your agreement. You can always appeal any decision the school makes.

In addition you may have the ability to influence the out come of your child's school year by influencing some basic choices the school makes before the year begins. Assuming your child has been tested and is dyslexic then…

1) Learn how the culture of your schools approach to children with learning disabilities. Ask around – find other children with dyslexic kids – believe me they will know weather you can go in like a lamb or a lion. They will also know who your potential allies would be.

2) Interview next years teachers and talk to parents who have attended there classrooms and choose the teacher your child will be in based on your teachers comprehension of learning disabilities.
3) Give your child an advantage by doing reading with them in evenings during the summer - you do the reading – they see you read and see how fun it is while knowing that your not going to ask them too.
4) Meet with your teacher at every single parent teacher conference. Ask to meet your teacher before school begins – Understand that your child’s teacher is probably very busy right before school starts and they may not want to meet or meet very long. Try to keep this first meeting short and too the point.
5) If the school wishes to place your child in a special ed classroom you have the right to refuse such a transfer and if all else fails you have t right o change schools. LDS children learn better when main streamed then in a focused special ed room.
6) Join the parent teacher association – be a part of your child’s school as much as possible.

When you through all the homework your child needs support with after school in the evening you might be able looking at a full or at least half time job. So why are you not home schooling again?

Good luck let me know how I can help.


v/vmary said...

are you saying that a parent can just say- i want my child tested for a learning disability- and the school MUST do the test?

v/vmary said...

i have left several comments for you just now, but if you only have time to answer one, could you please tell me the name of the approach your tutors used to help you. for example, was it orton-gillingham? the wilson method? linda mood bell? thanks

Brother Wolf said...

Yes - with out a doubt the American with Disabilities act clearly says that a school must provide testing free to any family that wants to know if there child is dyslexic.

As for a silver bullet - to solve all problems with reading and writing - honestly I couldn't tell you. Time is the greatest healer and parents who loves me know matter what my grade point average.

Maybe the single biggest healer was the desire to read that existed in me that my father and mother nurtured in me by reading to me every night for YEARS on end.