Dyslexia and the Education System
Read an interesting piece on dyslexia today, outlining some of the challenges related to obtaining Special Education services in the UK. Dyslexia is a learning disability in reading, and having dyslexia simply means that reading skills are below what is expected for a person's age. As it turns out, we face similar issues in the UK and US education systems, in which a diagnosis of a learning disability can open up opportunities for extra support in school. However, inequities can occur when expensive learning evaluations lead to advantaged children being more likely to receive a diagnosis, and therefore, Special Education services.
To the individual families, these evaluations are helpful and needed, but some argue they are only necessary because of the way the education system is structured. I agree with the notion that “…we should be trying to help all children with literacy difficulties, not just those who have been diagnosed with dyslexia.” However, this places additional burden on already over-worked and under-funded school systems to identify these children and provide appropriate support.
For now, parents can advocate for school-funded evaluations, communicate closely with school staff, and seek educational advocacy support if needed. They may also still feel that a private evaluation is necessary. For a long read, here is the Guardian article. And here is one of many guides to the Special Education evaluation process.