There aren't many threads in this section, so I do hope this one will get some resposne from someone who can understand what my son and I are going through.
My son started exhibiting signs of dyslexia when he was in first grade. I knew he was, even though no one else would listen to me. I was told by so many people, even school teachers and counselors that he was just a typical boy, and that boys progress more slowly than girls and he would eventually catch up.
Long story short, I decided to have him tested since the school didn't want to hear me, and I was right. My son is very intelligent, but is dyslexic. He hasn't failed a single grade level and will be going into 7th grade in the fall. I've been fighting with the schools for all these years and we have a Form 504 in place for modifications in school. Most of the teachers do not follow the provisions set forth in our form. This is a legally binding contract, yet every year it's the same fight and numerous trips to the school to try and get things the way they are suposed to be. I do my part at home (and then some) and put numerous hours in with my son, so why can't the school do their part- do what they are paid by my tax dollars to do in the first place?
My son is the one paying the price because when the teachers don't do their part, his grades suffer. I even took my son and had him screened with Dr. Mel Levine's Student Success Centers. He is a specialist in this area. Our school system preaches that they are heavily involved in his programs and even talks about how they are requiring their teachers to become certified/trained in his courses, yet I see nothing to back that up, with the exception of a teacher or two each year who is willing to follow the modifications we have in place. For the most part, the majority of the teachers/principals & counselors I've dealt with are to darn lazy to be bothered with the extra work, don't understand dyslexia and don't seem to be interested in learning anything about it.
I could just bite nails in two I'm so frustrated. I've gotten the school board involved too. If something doesn't change, I will be starting to think it's time to file a formal complaint. Anyone here have any information or even experience with successful ways to get the schools to do their job?? Any help is greatly appreciated.
I am so sorry to hear of your son's stuggles. I am a teacher in KY and unfortunatley you are right...there are teacher's that do not follow the modifications placed in plans for the individual child. What you need to remember is that you are the parent and you have every right to push for your child to be served correctly. You are right about the 504 plan being a legally binding contract and I think you should pursue a more formal complaint. Teachers should be held accountable for servicing ALL children regardless of their LD's. In KY we have parent advocates that basically serve as an expert that supports the parents rights and they see to it that the plan is carried out or else. I have never worked with one, but I know that in one school I worked in just the threat of an advocate caused a couple of teachers to get it together. Check with your state and see if this is available for you. If not, push the issue anyway. This is your son and you have to see to it that he get's the best education possible..............whether you make waves along the way or not. Good luck!
B & Claudia-
Thank you both so much for your response to my post. I've been checking back in hopes that someone would respond.
This is such an exhausting thing to deal with each and every year. And, yes, I have made some waves with the schools. I agree- this is my son and his future. He is entitled to receive the best education possible. We live in a small beach community, so there aren't choices of which schools to go to.
I've done so much research and have even offered some of my research to several of the teachers who say they know nothing about teaching a child with dyslexia and they flat out told me they didn't have time to read it. I was shocked! Most of the modifications require the teachers to do very little extra work believe it or not. Most of the extra work is on me. One example- every year, I get a copy of each one of my son's school books. The 504 states that the following weeks lesson plans are to be emailed to me every Friday so I can pre-teach him over the weekend. The teachers do not do it. I call the school and have meetings and am assured this will change but it never does. As stated before, I have even gone to the school board and they sit in on some of the meetings and still- no improvement.
I am truly thankful for the teachers who do put in the effort to follow the 504 and I let them know how much their efforts are appreciated. I know teaching a class full of students isn't an easy job and that our schools really do not provide it's teachers with the resources they truly need, but some of the teachers I've been dealing with are just not willing to do anything extra when it comes to my son and it just breaks my heart. My son deserves better than what he's getting, and all of his teachers always remark about what a nice student he is. Well, why not show him the courtesy and respect he gives you?
If it happens this year, I will not waste time at the school level, I think I will just file a formal proceding against the school as well as the school board. Thank you for the information about the advocate- I am going to look in to that before the school year begins.
Good luck with the schools! I got tired of the fight and the hassle and took my kids out. We've been homeschooling for 3 years now and we'll never go back if we can help it.
My son has Asperger's and he's originally the reason we pulled the kids. We then discovered that my youngest dd has Dyslexia, ADHD and memory problems. She'd be left behind in the system so it's nice to be at home where she can go at her own pace.
You know, my son has mentioned home schooling to me numerous times. I've actually looked in to it and am seriously considering it. There are a couple of home school groups here where we live, so I've not totally discounted it. I even have the required registration paperwork and am looking in to attending a counseling session and information course about it. My son is already basicallly being taught be me anyway.
My family feels that this isn't a good idea because of the socialization aspect, but seriously, the area in which we live does offer many activities for our youth through parks and rec. He already plays soccer through parks and rec and also takes Karate, and there are even social groups for the home schooled children in our area where they get together for field trips and activities as well. I can promise he won't miss out on socialization. The kids at his school are horrid anyway. Once word of his dyslexia got out, they really took that ball and ran with it. He is tortured by some of these kids.
You know, Kids never acted this bad back when I was in school. They were raised to respect others, and the way things are today- there are so many kids who just don't know what respect is. It's sad.
Thank You Pink. I'm glad you were able to get your kids out of a potentially bad situation and get the homeschooling going. Like I said, that may be something I do with my son. Have a great day!
Well I am not so sure how old your son isbut i am a 16 year old girl who has dyslexa. I have had to deal with fighting with the schools and teachers and my own personal battle about not being smart as everyone else in my class. So i know how both proably feel. But it is hard and all i can say is keep on the teacher a.ss and make sure you son knows what his rights are as a student with a 504 plan. but if you want to know more about growning up with dyslexa i would be willing to talk more to you and maybe give you some advice when i know more about waht is going on with your son.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-03-2006 at 07:00 AM.
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Thank you for your reply. I know it's hard to deal with dyslexia. It breaks my heart to hear my son say that he isn't smart enough. In actuallity, he is EXTREMELY intelligent. He is in the 80th-90th percentile, but again, his grades do not reflect this when the teachers don't cooperate and follow the 504. I fight tooth & nail every year with the schools. He is entitled to certain rights under the equal education laws, and the schools seem really lazy about this.
I work really hard with my son, and always assure him that he is very smart, but because of his dyslexia, he just has to work harder than most kids to keep those grades up. There is a marked difference in his grades between classes where the teachers follow the modifications on the 504, and the classes where the teachers don't follow it.
Kasie- I'm sorry you have to fight so hard to have the schools provided you with what you are legally entitled to. You just keep it up and don't let them hold you down. Don't be one of the ones who ends up getting lost in the system- you deserve a fair chance in school just as much as the other kids do!
Well tomorrow my husband and I have our first meeting with the school for my son's 504 meeting to discuss his modifications. As stated in my earlier posts, I've struggled and even fought with the schools/teachers/counselors/school board/principals every year to get them to follow the modifications. Each year, maybe one or two teachers actually follow it.
I've been doing some research about the laws governing children with LD's and have found out that either the schools are very misinformed, or are just lying to me about modifications on standardized mandatory state testing. Well, I will be heading to the meeting prepared and ready to enlighten the school.
Fingers are crossed that this year will be much more successful and all teachers will follow the 504. If not, I'm armed with the legal information I need. I am not playing around this year and will not let them "hmm & haw". This year, either they follow the 504 to the "T", or I file a grievance- period. If that doesn't work, then I bring a suit against the shool and the school board. Ducks are in a row and I'm ready to do what needs to be done.
For any other parents out there who have children with LD's, please do not give up the fight to ensure your child gets what they are legally entitled to. They deserve to be on a level and fair playing field, and the schools are legally bound & required to provide the modifications your child needs. Our kids are the future and they deserve a fighting chance to be the best they can be and feel good about themselves and their accomplishments!
You fight with everything you have.I have a daughter thats dyslexic.We had schools follow a 504 plan and were very fortunate that they did.She has now graduated.She's very smart,but has difficulty in a few areas.Mainly spelling.She attempted college,but was very discouraged.She plans on re-enrolling come winter.
Schools need to reeducate there teachers and teach them how to teach all students,just not the straight A students.My oldest has dyslexia,but my other children are 4.0's.I put many hours in to teaching my daughter as for times I didn't feel the teachers were being effective.This time has paid off.And I'd do it in a heart beat again if I had to.
Thank you for your reply. It breaks my heart to see my son struggle to keep up. Like your daughter, my son is in the 80-90th percentile in intelligence and is very smart, but the dyslexia really does hamper him in his school work. He has made the B honor roll several times but had to work 5 times as hard as normal students. Now, school and great grades have always come easy for my daughter. She is in honors classes and has always been able to sail through school with top grades.
I honestly feel that people just don't understand dyslexia. I have even offered several teachers some books that I have for them to read and they simply tell me they have no time to read them. Now that made me mad. I have pulled information from the internet and have made copies for the teachers. I'll be giving it to them today. If they have no time to read a book, maybe they have time to read a couple internet articles?
These kids deserve a fighting chance!! Home schooling may be something I end up doing because I basically already home school him with the amount of time I put in with my son already. I have copies of all his school books each year & pre-teach him. My son has asked several times if I could home school him. We live in a small area, so there aren't many resources & support groups for home schoolers, but I can make it happen if needed. He gets socialization through parks & rec and other things, so he won't become a hermit so to speak.
I'm sorry, I could go on and on. Although I hate to think of any child suffering & struggling through school, it's good to speak with someone who truly understands the impact dyslexia has on these kids & the families.
Have a great day, and thank you for the inspiration!
Keep trying to educate these teachers.That is a poor excuse to say they don't have time.Thats there job!
There was a law passed by our President.NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND!!! If they don't educate themselfs they are leaving all LD students behind.
As your son matures he will figure out his own way of learning usually around 15.These students find one thing to focus on and they excell.My daughters is running.She was awesome at track and cross country.
Keep fighting.I always figured if I didn't fight for my daughter who would.I was very fortunate with a teacher,she had adopted 3 special needs children and she knew when a child had learning difficulties.She had contacted me and told me my daughter was dyslexic and sent me to have her tested.She was a big advocate for the LD students.More teachers could learn from her.I know there's several excellent teachers out there.
It's always great to hear the success stories. Your daughter is very fortunate to have you and I know it made things much better having teachers who really wanted to help. You mentioned your daughter and college in a previous post, and I am glad you did. My son is only 12 right now, but even with his frustrations throughout school, he still has intentions of going to college. I say go for it. I don't care if he chooses a major university or our local community college, at least he wants to give it a go. I know these kids have strength and courage to challenge themselves. Who knows, he may do quite well. If not, then he put himself out there and tried, right? I always tell him that the doesn't know his limitations until he tries.
And yes, finding something to focus on does help. For my son, it karate and model cars. He is so athletic and extremely mechanically gifted! He was working with complex Legos and Kinnects and things when he was in first & second grade- always doing the sets that were for older kids. He did them without having to really read the instructions.
Our meeting went quite well yesterday. Thank's for asking. His teachers really like him and tell me he contributes to class discussions, has not missed a single homework assignment and is holding his own. All of his teachers even came up with strategies of their own to help and I was very happy to hear that. Two of them in particular asked me to send the books I have, and my son's Science teacher took a course this past summer through Dr. Mel Levine's program and learned quite a bit about LD's. He seemed to be the most interested in what makes my son "tick". I'm not saying the others weren't, but he really seemed fascinated with my son. They all said that my son is very poilte, charming, intelligent and can carry a great conversation. This is not new to me because his teachers have always said that.
Anyway, I feel it was the best school meeting I've had in years. There were a couple of things I need to address with the counselor because she didn't follow procedure. She didn't have my meeting request form nor did she have the attendance sheet for all of us to sign and didn't have any of us sign the paperwork stating that we are keeping the Form 504 as is for now. Some people would say don't even worry about those things, but, it ALL has to be done in a certain format according to our state laws and I want it all documented just in case we have problems like we've had every other year.
It may be crazy on my part, but after the meeting yesterday, I am really hoping for a strong year this year.
Nuffs- in just a couple of days worth of posting, you have helped me tremendously and I can't thank you enough. Best wishes to you and your family. I know your daughter will be successful in whatever she chooses to do in life. She has a great support system.
You keep that paper work in order.Reason being it will help your son in the future with college scholarships and grants.My daughters college is all paid for through Learning Disability grants.Small price to pay for years of struggling but it has helped finacially.Also in later in life if he becomes disabled(Lord forbid) at a young age this will aide him in getting Social security benifits if he doesn't have enough working credits.
My daughter is a black belt in Tang Soo DO.She received that her 8th grade year.It was a great class it helps with the focussing and concentration.She's going to school for criminal law.She wants to be a juvenile probation officer.
She says most juvenile offenders are LD students that have taken there frustrations out on others and she wants to make a different and show these kids that they can succeed positivly versus negativity.
Your sons goals are awesome most 12 yearolds have no clue if they want a higher education or not.Your doing a great job.Your son will succeed at everything he does he has a great support team.I wish more parents would get in tune with there childs education.regardless LD or not.
i have struggled with dyslexia all my life, my family too had to struggle with the school system for my brother more then me (where both dyslexic) i went to a catholic school so when they noticed my disgraphia, i got signed up for an 8 year program to correct, it turns out i had both disgraphia (more commoly known as writting backwards) and dyslexia. yet unfortunatly my brother didn't go to the same school beaucse we left the school when he was only in kindergarten (i was in 5th) so when my parents noticed simimalr problems with my borhter (he didn't have disgraphia only the reading problem) teh school simply labled him and said he was disabled and didn't bother trying to help him. he is now a jonur in high school and is finaly getting some of the help he needs, unfortunatly it took a rather nasty series of letters to the school board to get him "unlabled" and get him helped. the other unfortunate part is that by the time he got the help he needed there was very little they could do to improve his reading. i often times feel bad beacuse i got the help and am at least able to type letters in a formal manner and have understandable grammer (my writing is still horrible and sometimes still backwards) and he still struggles with the littlest things. i really wish teh best of luck to you and your son. sometimes it takes brut force for get a positive out come. untill them remember to always support him no matter how bad his condition may be, i know it got my brother and i though a lot. as i said when i started i wrote every thing backwards and could not even read at a 1st grade level. yet with help and alot of support i can do what i'm doing now. i know how difficult the public school systems can be, but as i saw that someone esle had written, you are the parent and you should be able to deciede on how your childs needs are reached. i am so sick and tired of public school systems labeling kids 'disabled' 'unable to learn propperly' and then tossing them into a room with other labbled kids and simply dumbing down the program. they need to realize these kids arnt stupid there intellegent most have simple, and treatable problems that can be fixed with a little attention and more directed course learning and most of all support. i'm sorry to be so longwinded about this but i do have a passion for it. as i said eariler good luck to you and your son. i hope to hear good news in the future.
My middle son is 7 years old and in grade 2, we are currently having him tested for dyslexia. He is extremely intellegent. He is excellent at math and sciences, however, he still cannot read. His teacher gave him a test before Christmas (not sure what it was called?). It was 15 pages long and it basically picked apart all of the elements of reading...letter sounds, beginning and middle, ending of words etc...well, he passed everything with flying colors...so by all means he should be able to read...but he cannot. I was just wondering if you can share with me some of the signs that you saw in your son that let you know that he had dyslexia. Thank you!