Decoding Dyslexia National sent a letter to the US Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in hopes of addressing the need to use the term dyslexia on IEP’s and 504 plans.
Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina is in full support of this letter.
We believe that dyslexic children’s needs should be addressed in school with the proper identification of their educational disability. In a student’s IEP and/or 504 plan, the term dyslexia should be included. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction only allows the choice of Specific Learning Disabled (SLD) under the disability and course study section. Labeling a child as Specific Learning Disabled should be a minimum requirement not a maximum choice for parents and administrators. The omission of the term dyslexia allows educators to use methods of instruction that are neither valid nor helpful to their students and in turn provides little accountability for the teaching methods utilized.
Dyslexia is listed as one of the disorders under the Specific Learning Disability category in IDEA. Visual impairment is also listed as a disability in IDEA. The visual impairment category includes partial sight and blindness. If a student were diagnosed with blindness, they would write the actual diagnosis of blindness on the IEP. The IEP team would not state that the student doesn’t pay attention to what is being written on the board or doesn’t focus on the words on the pages, etc… That way the team wouldn’t just try to sit the student closer to the board or give them more lighting when they were holding a book. The diagnosis along with the related symptoms and needs all go hand in hand and should be on the IEP. To educate a child properly, the teachers themselves should be educated about the symptoms that accompany the child’s diagnoses, whether, it be dyslexia, blindness or any other disability. Proper teaching methods can not be identified without proper identification of dyslexia as the specific learning disability.
Action Alert Decoding Dyslexia National
Links to other letters sent to OSERS asking for guidance on use of the term dyslexia: >Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus letter
>National Center for Learning Disabilites (NCLD) letter
>Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) letter
“we respectfully request that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issue guidance to states and school districts regarding the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia and the provision of appropriate accommodations for students with specific learning disabilities.”