Dyslexia One in Five
One in Five. That’s how common dyslexia is, according to all the latest research. The formidable organization, Learning Ally (formerly known as Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) has a wonderful new campaign called 1 in 5, complete with a short Public Service Announcement that’s a real eye opener.
So I’m thinking that one in five equals 20 percent, which if my math is correct—and that’s always a qualifier when I deal with math—just isn’t adding up in the real world of school.
Here’s the problem: just about the only way for students with dyslexia to obtain the services and accommodations they need in the typical school is to qualify for special education.
But in the typical school district, the expectation is to keep the percentage of students identified for special education at somewhere around 12 percent. Nationwide, the Federal government shows special education at about 13 percent of all students in a number of categories under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (DEA).
The categories for qualifying for special education, according to Federal IDEA guidelines are: specific learning disabilities (where dyslexia is categorized), as well as speech or language impairments; intellectual disabilities; emotional disturbance; hearing impairments; orthopedic impairments; other health impairments; visual impairments; Multiple disabilities; Deaf-blindness; Autism; Traumatic brain injury, Developmental, delay and Preschool disabled.
In total, that’s a lot of kids. But we still have a problem that is yet to be solved: that 20 percent of students who have dyslexia, er, specific learning disabilities. Yes, according to Federal statistics, they comprise the largest percentage of students who receive special education services, 5 percent at latest count.
How many of those students with specific learning disabilities have dyslexia?
Assuming that they make up all 5 percent of those identified for special education services, 15 percent of kids with dyslexia are still left out of the equation. One that still needs to be solved.
Because we’re not talking about abstract numbers here, we’re talking about individual kids who struggle in school without getting the help they need.
One in Five. In every classroom. Every day.