Testing for Dyslexia
When it comes to testing for dyslexia, it’s important to listen to our children and hear when they say, “Enough is enough!” In my own son’s case, this is how he termed it: “I feel like a piece of meat that they’re trying to tenderize, but I’m already burning on the barbecue.”
He had had it with all the testing for dyslexia. He was 13 years old, and was far behind his peers in reading, writing and math. He had repeatedly been tested in an involved battery of assessments that included academic abilities as well as social-emotional issues.
At the time I wrote to the district officials, “As his sophisticated analogy indicates, my son is becoming traumatized by all the years of evaluation and testing with so little assistance in how to move forward. We, his IEP team, need to listen to him and work in his best interests to help him reach his full potential. He needs to receive the proper help he needs in order to learn the concepts he has not yet been taught, instead of just moving along and lagging far behind grade level, doing remedial work.”
Of course the school officials want to have as much data as possible in order to make decisions about how to move forward. But these students are not just test takers—they are sentient, smart human beings who—on top of struggling in school—are subjected to hours and hours of taxing testing, knowing that they are likely not to do well on the examinations. It takes a toll on their spirits, their psyches, and their very beings. And we must remain aware that their well-being takes priority over the collection of data, no matter how justified or well-meaning.