PROGRESS BUT MILES TO GO
Understanding children with dyslexia is beginning to flourish. Decoding Dyslexia, primarily parent groups in each state, has opened the door to emotionally scarred children, frustrated parents, and unresponsive school personnel. Legislatures have passed laws mandating changes in education.
However, according to the International Dyslexia Association and my personal observations, the research and policy changes have not filtered down into practice in large numbers of schools. We still hear that dyslexia does not exist or poor readers can be helped by the same instructional programs as non-dyslexics. General literary
strategies are not sufficient to help students with dyslexia catch up to their peers.
Too little is being done in college method courses in training teachers and school psychologists.
Parents, if they can afford to do so and can find a qualified psychologist, may spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars, to get an accurate diagnosis. Many school psychologist test only to determine if a child does or does not qualify for special services. The unfortunate outcome is that a child's dyslexia may be neither recognized or helped.
Erin K. Washburn and others surveyed classroom teachers and college instructors in teacher preparation courses. Both showed a lack of knowledge about dyslexia. Research has shown that knowledge of phonics itself is not enough unless teachers are well trained in how to teach phonics effectively.
The International Dyslexia Association and other groups are working tirelessly to remedy this monumental problem.