Hiding Behind Dyslexia

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Anyone that is a parent or ever taught school knows that most children will avoid doing most anything, that is not of interest to them, if they can find ANY excuse not to perform the task.

Dealing with dyslexic children/young adults is no exception. Except that they have one advantage; they have a legitimate problem. And many will use the condition for all it is worth. Using every excuse in the world, not to turn in book reports, term papers, or whatever.

Unfortunately once out of school, and working, most companies do not care if one has dyslexia. I have never found a boss yet that, says it is OK to turn in reports, projects, or whatever late or not at all. They (the bosses) just do not seem to have a sense of humor about work not being performed.

One of the greatest injustices, I have seen with the education system is to pull a dyslexic child from regular classes, unless they are being put in a faster pace class. I am not saying that a dyslexic child will not need help. I am saying that they should not be placed in slow paced classes (except for those with exceptionally bad dyslexia) and that the child should receive help dealing with the problem; not catering to it.

There are very fine lines when dealing with dyslexic children. If one pushes a dyslexic child too hard the child will simply give up. Do not push hard enough and the student will learn how to avoid doing the work, not how to deal with the dyslexia. Every child being different, there is no magic formula to know when a child is being pushed 'over the line'.

The guideline, I think, would help more than anything else, is for teachers and parents not to make insulting comments ("Why are you so careless?" or "This is easy! Why can't YOU do it, You do the hard sections so well?") to the child and do not put UNREALISTIC demands on the child. Just as one should do with any child.

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Copyright © 1996 by Timothy Allen Roach All Rights Reserved.
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Updates: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
Page Last Updated: 8/19/01 6:34:09 PM