Now here IS a “fad” I wish would pass…illiteracy. I have searched and searched for information about the literacy skill level of children in Arkansas and for over a decade the vast majority of children are reading BELOW grade level (e.g. proficient). We know that the research-based proven methods of instruction that work for a dyslexic child will work with ALL children regardless of the reason they are performing below grade level. You can say Dyslexia is a “fad” if you want that is your prerogative but the fact of the matter is TOO MANY CHILDREN cannot read on grade level and there is a tremendous amount of research that indicates once behind always behind or your level of literacy competence at the end of 1st grade WILL determine your level of success in 9th grade. So why do we wait?
More food for thought, 30 minutes a day of intense strategic intervention in kindergarten and 1st grade will remediate the vast majority of skill deficits that result in reading failure. However for those same children it takes 2 hours a day, every day, of intensive intervention to remediate the reading deficits of a child in 4th grade and beyond. Hmm, seems to me it would be more cost effective to target 30 minutes a day for kindergarten and 1st grade.
I agree there will be a lot of children that meet the profile of Dyslexia that may not be Dyslexic but that is because we are failing to teach them the foundation skills critical for reading success. So call the children who are not reading what you want, I don’t care, BUT STILL TEACH THEM TO READ and guess what….the methods and the system in place is not working and hasn’t been for too many years. If you really want to separate the Dyslexics from the non-Dyslexics that are all reading below grade level then provide them with the right support and intervention. Those that are not Dyslexic will respond quickly to the intervention and their progress will look different from those that are Dyslexic. The other bonus is that the children who are not Dyslexic will not need the intervention for very long because they will catch up. But the fact is regardless if they are or are not Dyslexic, if they are NOT reading on grade level we have limited the options they have in life.
So #saydyslexia and give children the opportunity to live the life they want. Arm them with the literacy skills to help them break out of the cycle of poverty so many of them are trapped in simply because they cannot read. Call it a fad if you want but we have been failing children for too many years to continue to ignore the reading failure rampant in our state and in the country.