According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) / No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization in Congress is moving at lightning speed. NCLD has identified significant threats due to the misinformed and dated views of some Congressional members based on what students with learning disabilities cannot due instead of what they are capable of doing with the appropriate accommodations. The biggest threat seems to be the belief that students with disabilities need to be taken out of the general assessment and given alternate assessments which takes the students off track for a standard high school diploma that then impacts college and future potential. ESEA governs everything in public schools, including inclusion in the general education setting. The one thing that NCLD keeps hearing from the Congressional Representatives is that they need to hear from the parents: what the parents think and what the parents want.
Congress must ensure that students are prepared to graduate from high school, ready to succeed in college or in a career. The law must also provide early identification of attention and learning issues, such as dyslexia, as well as classroom resources and teacher training in evidence-based methods, such as structured literacy. Also, please request that your Congressional Representative join the Dyslexia Caucus, now headed by Representatives Lamar Smith and Julia Brownley, so that we can count on his or her support for national level legislation in regards to dyslexia.
Please note: Representative Marcia Fudge is the only member of Congress from Ohio on the House Education and Workforce Committee, a crucial committee in which any legislation impacting education must pass through. It is of the upmost importance that residents in her district contact her and request that she joins the Dyslexia Caucus.
District Representative Phone (202) 225- Dyslexia Caucus
- Steve Chabot 2216
- Brad Wenstrup 3164
- Joyce Beatty 4324
- Jim Jordan 2676
- Robert E. Latta 6405
- Bill Johnson 5705 Yes
- Bob Gibbs 6265
- John A. Boehner 6205
- Marcy Kaptur 4146
- Michael Turner 6465
- Marcia L. Fudge 7032
- Pat Tiberi 5355 Yes
- Tim Ryan 5261
- David Joyce 5731
- Steve Stivers 2015
- Jim Renacci 3876
Click image to enlarge.
This post comes courtesy of Paul Godwin, one of the admins for the Facebook group Homeschooling Dyslexic Kids, where this was originally posted.
I have been contemplating writing a post for the Dads for quite some time. This will be a long post, but please take the time to read it. I wanted to give my perspective as a Dad who probably did everything wrong before we found out our child was dyslexic.
Academics came very easily to me. I did not have a lot of patience with my son when it came to his struggles. I did not understand what the problem was and I thought it was just a lack of effort on his part. As men we are taught that, although not everything may come easily, if you just work hard enough you can accomplish a set goal. I could not fathom why it took my son so long to accomplish basic tasks such as reading a single word on a flash card. I had ZERO patience. Once he finally started getting the flashcards down, we moved on to sentences with the words from the flash cards. This was a disaster. He could not read anything. I was livid. I would berate him for what I deemed was a lack of effort. I did not get my “Compassionate and Understanding Dad” merit badge. There were other things that drove me crazy. He had great difficulty in doing things that I thought should have come easily. Tying shoes, riding a bike, and other fine motor skill functions did not come naturally. I remember becoming so frustrated when trying to teach him how to ride his bike that i picked up the bike and threw it into an empty lot in our neighborhood.
My son had originally been diagnosed PDD-NOS, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. At that point this was considered part of the autism spectrum which basically meant “we know there is something wrong but we are not quite sure what”. My son did not fit into the a typical autistic category, but there were definitely some issues. My wife started doing some research about his behavior. The more she read, the more she became convinced he was dyslexic. Once we had him tested we found that he had moderate to severe dyslexia. I still did not fully grasp all that this entailed. I obviously felt like a complete and utter jerk for how I treated my son concerning reading and his academics. I still look back and think how much differently I should have done things. That being said, I did not buy into how dyslexia could affect the other areas of his life. What did a reading disorder have to do with tying your shoes?
The reality is that dyslexia affects almost every aspect of a child’s life. Motor skills, memorization, math, remembering sequential steps(both in academics and in daily tasks), and organization skills are all impacted by dyslexia.
As men, we are wired to fix things, no matter what it may be. My best advice to you dads is that you can’t fix your child because your child is not broken. They are different. They think different, act different, and react different, but they are definitely not broken. Don’t try to fix them, try to understand them. Be patient. Do research, this is not just your wife’s job. The better you understand why they are the way the are, the better you can help.
Deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 11, 2015!
This Scholarship is awarded in honor of a high school senior formally diagnosed with dyslexia who is a worthy role model for others, refuses to be limited by the challenges of learning differences, strives for excellence, chooses to live as an achiever, and enriches the lives of the families, friends, employers & communities with whom he/she interacts.
The Scholarship recipient will be awarded a cash prize of $250 to support this student’s postsecondary education endeavors. The recipient will have an opportunity to accept this award at the 27th Annual Dyslexia Symposium and Keynote Speaker Dinner to be held on Thursday evening, February 26, 2015 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. This award is given at the discretion of the Student Scholarship Committee of the NOB/IDA.
The purpose of the Hope and Aspirations: NOB/IDA Young Adult Literacy Fund is to provide monies to students in need of assessment to establish accommodations for dyslexia or related reading disorders in the post-secondary setting. Monies may also be used for young adults (18-30) in need of remediation services for dyslexia or related reading disorders, whether or not they attend a post-secondary institution.