Dyslexia: As Defined By School Systems
Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Disability that is neurobiological in origin. Schools refer to Dyslexia as a “Specific Learning Disability” in their Individual Educational Program (IEP). It is important to understand, however, that Learning Disability is not a specific term. Learning disability is used for legislative, financial, and educational purposes only. Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic processes involved in understanding spoken or written language. It may show up as a problem in listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, or spelling or in a person’s ability to do math, despite intelligence.
Understanding Dyslexia Testing In Schools
Schools test only for “Learning Disabilities,” not specifically for Dyslexia. Only the most severely Dyslexic children meet the criteria for a Learning Disability, or LD, and get help through the Special Education system. According to the National Institutes of Health’s research, 80 percent of children with a Learning Disability actually have Dyslexia. Dyslexia is by far the most common learning disability. But only one in ten children with Dyslexia qualifies for special education services. Dyslexic children who do not qualify have a high chance for “falling through the cracks.” They’re in the regular classroom, struggling far more than they should, and they’re at extremely high risk for dropping out of school later. In public schools, you have the legal right to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) if your child is found to have Dyslexia. You do not have this legal cover in a private school; each individual private school makes its own decisions as to how they will help those with learning disabilities.