Public Comment Sample:
My name is Jane Doe and I am from Anytown, VA. I currently have three children attending public schools in Any County Public School System. My second child is a middle school student and is currently being served by an IEP for SLD. My son is dyslexic, the dyslexia that is defined in our Virginia State Code. He is well above average in intelligence and yet struggles with his ability to read, write and spell. This deficit, in turn, negatively impacts his access to information he should be receiving in his curriculum. He currently reads at a 4th grade level, three plus years below his peers, and after recent evaluations done by the school this February, he is in the 2% for his spelling and 17% for his writing.
Every year we meet with each of my son’s teachers to start the year off “right”. Along with labeling a child for services, comes very real misconceptions of the child’s ability and disability. As parents, we have found it helpful to advocate for our son in a manner that we hope helps both the team and the student. And yet I feel compelled to bring to light that this disability, dyslexia, is the most wide spread and accounts for 80% of all SLD IEP’s in the state.
Year after year we do our best to educate the staff that will work with my son and year after year I am amazed at the lack of understanding or even base knowledge of the most common learning disability identified for services. I want to use the word, “injustice”. This is an injustice for the families relying on the schools for help, and this is an injustice to the teachers and staff who want to help educate our students.
As a public school mom and member of Decoding Dyslexia VA, I am asking for a plan for Virginia to implement:
- Teacher/staff training on dyslexia, its warning signs and appropriate intervention strategies
- Early screening tests for dyslexia
- Evidenced-based dyslexia remediation programs implemented with fidelity which can be accessed by both general and special education populations
- Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the public school setting for students with dyslexia
Thank you for your time.