Dyslexia in Schools
Managing dyslexia in schools... What's the problem?
Dyslexia is a neurological condition and genetic in its origin, so wouldn't we expect that students would be catered for in school, no matter what their neurological set up is when they are born? Unfortunately this is not the case, and after 15 years of working specifically in this area, the lack of knowledge about dyslexia for our teachers and principals is astounding.
If we take a glimpse at the teacher training programs here in Australia, I am noticing that the word "dyslexia" is finally being said, but only under a more broad and general umbrella of "learning difficulties".
While this is some progress, each new cohort of teachers is released to the classroom without the more specific knowledge they need to cater for dyslexic learners, year after year the problem escalates and there is an ever growing void of knowledge in the teaching workforce. It doesn't stop with the teachers, as many principals (who were once the teachers trained in the same universities) are also in the dark when it comes to understanding how to support dyslexic learners. What a challenge!
To answer the question, "why is dyslexia not recognised in schools?", it is clear that if the teachers and principals don't know about and understand what dyslexia is, then they are not equipped to recognise and support dyslexic learners. I am sad to say, but this is really the easy bit.
If all teachers and principals had the basic understanding of what a dyslexic learner looks like and how to identify the traits, then they would easily recognise the dyslexic learner. This would prevent ongoing failure and support the self esteem and learning for these disadvantaged students.
The Australian Human rights Act clearly defines how our education system should support all learners. It is not acceptable to not recognise dyslexic learners in the classroom! It is not a funding issue, but a knowledge issue.