Do students need to be diagnosed dyslexic?

Do students need to be diagnosed dyslexic, or is a diagnosis of Specific Learning Disability just as good?

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2 Responses

  1. I believe as we work towards a more universal understanding of the characteristics of Dyslexia in the educational field and the implications these have on the student's ability to participate in learning opportunities in the educational setting, a diagnosis of Dyslexia is more helpful for advocacy purposes. Identification of Specific Learning Disability is a start but doesn't clarify the appropriate intervention qualities that are most beneficial for helping a student with Dyslexia learn to read and participate in the classroom setting. SLD is too broad of an identification to be used as a sole measure of need. Many view Dyslexia not as a disability but as a learning difference. The term SLD may also be seen as misleading and add to the difficulty many students experience with maintaining positive self-esteem, Dyslexia can be something to be proud of if it is identified and addressed appropriately.
  2. IDEA (The individuals with disabilities education act) provides the definition for “specific learning disability.” The definition has been the same since 1975 and it includes the term dyslexia. The challenge with calling dyslexia a learning difference is that if it is truly a learning difference then it does not meet the legal requirements to justify accommodations. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say it is a learning the difference and then mandate schools to provide specialized instruction and accommodations Most students and parents have never had it explain to them that a learning disability requires an individual to have average to above average IQ in tandem with low achievement scores. The perception that individuals with a learning disability are “low IQ” is inaccurate. Dyslexia is neurobiological, it is not a “difference in learning.” Individuals with dyslexia can (and do!$ have many admirable traits. But those traits are due to who that person is on an individual level. There is no research that supports the notion that all individuals with dyslexia are destined to be rich or famous. Many have been fact suffered their entire lives. This is why early intervention is critical. It can mitigate some of the devastating effects attributable to difficulties with reading and spelling. Clinical evaluation seeks to provide and understanding of specifically why a child Is struggling to learn how to read and spell. Additionally a clinical a evaluation should should provide concrete suggestions for remediation, not just accommodations This is different than school based evaluation whose purpose is to determine eligibility for special education services.

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