Even teachers are frustrated

Once teachers or reading specialists learn about dyslexia, they start to realize how many of their struggling students have it. But when they try to share that with their fellow teachers or administrators, they often run into roadblocks – as this teacher shared.

Hi Susan,

I am a reading specialist at a public school in New York. We spoke briefly by phone a few months ago because I was concerned about my 4th and 5th grade students who are not making much progress.

I watched your videos, visited several websites, and read Sally Shaywitz’s book, Overcoming Dyslexia. I am convinced they have dyslexia.

But after I shared my concern with my principal and the other teachers, things at school have become a nightmare. I have been accused of making the teachers feel inferior when I share that many students need a different type of reading instruction. They claim to have years of teaching experience, and they know what they’re doing. Yet many of these students will be passed on to middle school still reading at a second grade level.

When I talk to the resource room teacher about dyslexia, he looks at me as if I have 3 heads.

I am no longer invited to student support meetings or IEP meetings.

I don’t know how to continue in the uphill battle. I know this is a lot to throw at you, but I really don’t know who else to turn to. I have sent my principal links to your videos, and I have summarized the findings of Overcoming Dyslexia. But everyone seems indifferent, and I am now perceived as a villain.

I know my students need more support. It hurts so much to see them suffer. I am committed to helping them reach their potential. But I feel so deflated and so stuck.

I need a plan for how to continue to advocate for them. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts.

7 responses

  1. Carrie Bauer Schreacke | Reply

    As a mother of a dyslexic child, I have encountered this same attitude in my child’s school in Illinois. We were very fortunate to have a second grade teacher recognize that my son was exhibiting classic dyslexic signs. We had him tested and he is a moderate to severe dyslexic. He has received accommodations in the classroom, but as he progresses in grades, the other teachers’ understanding, as well as the administration’s understanding is nonexistent. There is not any interest to present continuing education classes to help the teachers understand how to educate a dyslexic student, as well as recognize the signs in other students. It’s very frustrating for my son to battle an environment that is not understanding of his needs. As a mother, I feel failure because I can’t give him what he needs because the administration is not interested in learning. They do not want to create more work for themselves and continually tell me the financial resources are challenged. Until each state makes laws requiring schools to address this problem, the dyslexic student will continue to struggle. Parents rely on the school systems to educate their children. When this does not happen, many young people have their self-esteem shattered. We MUST find help for these students. Most dyslexic students are intelligent people who can’t read. They just need accommodations in the classroom to help them succeed. Educators need to realize and understand this diagnosis. — Illinois Parent in Adams County

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