Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Quagmire of Opinion vs Fact in Dyslexia

Recently a very Nice parent commented on my blog. Check out the comments on previous two post.
In there comments and questions they suggested that the rights of dyslexic students are a matter of opinion not law. The key idea hear for me is that Learning disabilties are not opinion or political hairs to be split. Learning diabilties can be proven - tested and demonstrated in written and verbel tests consitently over and over again.

I give you the definition of dyslexia by

Definition of Dyslexia

Dyslexia: A specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain's processing of graphic symbols. Dyslexia is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material.

Two commonly held beliefs about dyslexia are that children with it are prone to seeing letters or words backward, and that the problem is linked to intelligence. Both beliefs are incorrect. The problem is a linguistic one, not a visual one, in dyslexia. And dyslexia in no way stems from any lack of intelligence. People with severe dyslexia can be brilliant.

The effects of dyslexia, in fact, vary from person to person. The only shared trait among people with dyslexia is that they read at levels significantly lower than typical for people of their age. Dyslexia is different from reading retardation which may reflect mental retardation or cultural deprivation.

The treatment of dyslexia should be directed to the specific learning problems the person has. The usual course is to modify teaching methods and the educational environment to meet the specific needs of the individual with dyslexia.

The prognosis (outlook) for people with dyslexia is mixed. The disability affects such a wide range of people, producing different symptoms and varying degrees of severity, that predictions are hard to make. The prognosis is generally good, however, for individuals whose dyslexia is identified early, who have supportive family and friends and a strong self-image, and who are involved in a proper treatment program.

Back to my words....

In the beginning dyslexia was discovered in very smart people. Naturally it was assumed that dyslexia and many other learning disabilities were just effecting smart people. But over time it was discovered that dyslexia can be tested and found in 20% of the population regardless of I.Q. While it is true that many dyslexic or LDS people are gifted at speaking or talking to compensate for their disability - These gifts ARE NOT gurantted they are earned through the hard work that individual puts into compensating for the fact they can't read and every one else can.

It is tempting to think that these idea are my opinion or that they are just a matter of one persons thoughts vs some one else's thoughts. But they also are a matter of legal recourse to thousands of families around the country when the school refuses to recognize their child's Learning Disabilty. Dyslexia is as real as blindness just a lot harder to see. (pun intentional)