More Than Just a Literacy Platform
In seven years as a special education teacher, I sat in countless meetings where we reviewed a child’s assessment scores with the parents. In some of those, I shared with parents the challenging news that their child met the criteria of having a disability under the special education law. In others, I shared that their child did not meet the criteria. Having observed many of these meetings, and talking with even more parents since beginning my work with Lexercise, my thoughts on diagnosis have shifted. Here are a few things parents should know about a diagnosis.
If your primary goal is to find out in great detail what is going on in your child’s brain, testing is the way to get that information. But, if your priority is to get your child reading and learning in a way that makes sense to them then I highly suggest you seek therapy sooner rather than later. As a result you can save you and your child time and frustration and start celebrating their improvement! Start getting help now and get a diagnosis later if you feel it’s still necessary.
just read this article. Makes great sense to me. I am a grandmother. One of my grandchildren has dyslexia. I don’t need a $600 evaluation to confirm it, and want to spend the money on actual therapy instead. In future the more thorough evaluation could be useful in getting funding or more intervention at school. However as a parent of a child with learning disabilities, I can tell you that the public schools are unwilling to intervene for a child in first grade, even if you have documentation from a professional evaluation in hand. Children of this age have not had time to fail significantly enough to warrant intervention by their funding criteria. I am waiting to hear back from someone in your program to get my grandson started.
Since 2003, Tori has been a committed special educator, working as an elementary special education teacher. Her drive to improve outcomes for her students with dyslexia led her to the Neuhaus Education Center, where she was trained in Orton-Gillingham the summer after her first year of teaching. "I was so frustrated as a first year teacher, not knowing how to meet my students' needs. I spent the entire summer learning about dyslexia and was thrilled by my students' progress the next year!" Since then, she has used the method in English and Spanish with students in three states. In 2009, Tori completed her M.Ed. in Special Education at the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, where she focused on educational strategies for students with learning disabilities. Tori joined the Lexercise team full-time in early 2014 after seeing students online for over a year. When she is not working, Tori loves to read, cook, garden, and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Thank you for this helpful post. A recent blog by an Australian speech language pathologist and reading specialist spreads a similar message. http://www.spelfabet.com.au/2015/07/how-much-assessment-is-enough/
One question: I’m wondering why in point #3 you write that structured literacy approaches would not work if a student has language comprehension difficulties. Many students have both word/level decoding/spelling deficits AND language comprehension deficits. Wouldn’t they need explicit, structured, systematic instruction to address the word level? And wouldn’t they also need structured approaches to address areas that underly comprehension, e.g. syntax, vocabulary, background knowledge etc.?