Dyslexia: Any of various reading disorders associated with impairment of the ability to interpret spatial relationships or to integrate auditory and visual information.
“Reading is a learned skill, not a natural skill that develops as we mature. . . With an incidence as high as 5-10 percent in school age children, dyslexia is primarily genetically determined.” Genes & Dyslexia:
It is difficult to believe that a school district without Reading Specialists and one that is in constant violation of Special Education regulations is concerned with the educational health and welfare of its students.
We are inundated with PhD’s, chiefs, and administrators who rarely interact with children, while our youngest student population is crowded into classrooms with one overwhelmed teacher who must recognize, define, manage, and teach more than twenty, high energy, children.
While some may see this as a problem for the teacher, the real problem exists for the children. In urban districts across the country, “African-American and Latino males are more likely to be classified as mentally retarded or to be identified as suffering from a learning disability and placed in special education (Losen & Orfield, 2002).”
Without the proper testing and attention to the specific learning disability of the child, the district lumps these students together in an integrated or self-contained classroom. The student, whose specific needs are supposed to be met in these non-specific settings, is rarely successful and is more likely to become a behavior problem which can end in reclassification as mildly mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed.
Given that dyslexia is genetic and that people with dyslexia generally end up in low paying jobs, it is not unreasonable to connect poverty to the lack of attention to this specific processing style. And, since early detection of dyslexia is the key to educational success, lower class sizes in Pre-K and kindergarten through Third grade would increase the possibility of identifying this population of students thereby giving them the opportunity to be successful.
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