Dyslexia and the Dad

Dyslexia and the Dad    (Photo by Fifth World Art/Flickr)

Dyslexia and the Dad (Photo by Fifth World Art/Flickr)

Download the PDF version of this article here.

by Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley

I love a good success story about a child with dyslexia as much as the next person. Unfortunately, my job is to fix wrongs and I spend most of my time with my mouth hanging open and my hand covering it. I spend my time in total and utter disbelief at either what I am reading on an IEP, school testing or listening to yet another story about the downright negligent behavior by the schools when educating of a child. I sit in IEPs silently while I allow the school to showcase their lack of training about dyslexia and patiently wait my turn. If you’ve ever met me you know I am not a particularly loquacious person, so I keep my comments short and sweet, but meaningful and I try to show little to no emotion. Today was different. Today I was moved to tears and moved to share the story of one family with you so that you can begin to forgive yourself or lend support to a parent who is struggling with this process. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Our Education System

An Open Letter to Our Education System - Dyslexia Training Institute

An Open Letter to Our Education System – Dyslexia Training Institute (Photo by GenerationBass/Flickr)

Download the PDF version of this article here.

 

When it comes to dyslexia, you are doing a terrible job, downright awful and some days I want to say you are dreadful at teaching and identifying children with dyslexia. By doing so, you are negatively affecting the lives of these children, their families and those trying to help them for years to come. All in the face of a mountain of research.

Continue reading

Dyslexia: The Incredible Disappearing Goals

Dyslexia - The Incredible Disappearing Goals     (Photo by Wonderlane/flickr)

Dyslexia – The Incredible Disappearing Goals (Photo by Wonderlane/flickr)

Download the PDF version of this article here.

 

What could I possibly mean this time? A disappearing goal? Was the goal written with a special pen? Did the goal disappear when the student met the goal? Nope and Nope. What happened was really a brilliant and quite creative way for a school district to solve the problem of failing to teach a child with dyslexia to improve his reading and spelling. Below is the story of the incredible missing goals and other IEP magic tricks that every parent and/or advocate should be on the lookout for.

I would like you to meet Jason. He is entering the fifth grade and has had an IEP since the middle of third grade. His initial assessment included documentation of teacher comments from each grade who reported that Jason had difficulty with phonemic awareness, fluency and spelling. He has dyslexia. His initial IEP included two goals, fluency and spelling high frequency words. His fluency goal was to read a third grade passage (he would have been in 4th grade by the next IEP) with 90 CWPM – not a terrible goal, right? Now, I am not going to get into the fact that there only two goals and no baselines…yadda yadda yadda (for more about goal writing and dyslexia: http://www.specialeducationadvisor.com/dyslexia-its-all-about-goals-goals-goals/.) What I have to tell you is much more interesting.

Continue reading

Dyslexia: A Fresh Start for the Fall

Photo by JustinCinMD/flickr

Dyslexia: A Fresh Start for the Fall (Photo by JustinCinMD/flickr)

Download the PDF version of this article here.

Dyslexia: A Fresh Start for the Fall

If you are anything like me, the summer is a respite from IEPs, 504s, meetings, letters, assessments, policies, laws, services…should I go on? But with this respite comes reflection. Reflection about what didn’t work last year, what worked and what I can do differently to be a more effective dyslexia advocate. Fall is right around the corner and it is an opportunity for a clean slate, a fresh start and a new approach. Since we always recommend a meeting at the beginning of each school year, I am sharing some tips to either tune-up an old IEP or to help begin the process for a student with dyslexia.

Continue reading