It is statistically proven that 80% of people diagnosed with a reading disability are dyslexic. At first, this statistic surprised me and was honestly hard for me to believe. This is because in my years as a special education teacher I only encountered two students that were actually diagnosed with dyslexia.
When I learned of this statistic, I put it to the test in each of my classrooms year after year. I researched what signs and symptoms to look for, analyzed student data and testing, and began making parent phone calls to learn more about family history. Sure enough – I was amazed at my findings. Year after year my findings proved this statistic to be accurate. Some years the percent was even higher than 80%.
I couldn’t help but picture, in my memory, the struggling readers I had worked with in past years. Most were unsuccessful at making any substantial gains in reading - even when using corrective reading programs. Now I know how to help these kids. I’ve also learned a few things along the way to avoid. Giving students the tools and skills they need to read changes their entire life trajectory and improves their self-concept. There’s nothing better than seeing a child go from feeling defeated and frustrated to empowered and self confident.
In the next several posts, I will review common pitfalls that parents, teachers, and professional often make with struggling readers.