You win some. You lose some.

There's a girl in one of my classes...

She's a hard-worker. She asks questions. She's a smart girl. She really, really tries.

Yet, she's borderline failing. How can that be?

I'm not a diagnostician, but I'm 99% sure she suffers from dyslexia. All of the common markers we, as teachers, look for are there. Reversal of letters, atrocious spelling, last one to finish, not able to easily decode words, struggles matching up correct sounds with letters, etc...

So, I send a note home requesting permission to do a screener test - to see if I'm correct or if something else is the problem. Mind you, there is a problem.

Her parents are NOT interested in labeling their child. They don't want something as horrible as dyslexia in her file.

This is only the 5th grade. Her coping skills have taken her this far but, I've got news for them, it only gets harder from here.

The dyslexia training would give her a new set of skills. It could be the difference between being a C/D student who wouldn't dream of college (because it's too much work) and an A/B student who moves on to higher education.

I sometimes just don't think parents are able to see the big picture. We're too busy trying to protect our children that we don't see that we're hurting them.

I really believe these parents will look back on this later and say should've, would've, could've. You know?

There are much worse labels I can think of...

Like failure, wasted potential, or drop-out.

My current label: frustrated.

Could you tell?


Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

I'm sorry. That really is rough. It's hard for me to believe that parents don't look for every reason why their kids aren't achieving to their fullest potential. And if a teacher talks to me about something, I'm (likely) going to jump on it. (There have been a few exceptions I've seen with friends and their kid's teachers being sort of annoying about hyperactivity in boys that is totally normal - I'm very curious to see what happens when my youngest starts school...)

Anyway. Good luck and keep pushing.

Spymommy said...

I would call the parents in for a meeting. The way you've explained this on the blog makes it crystal clear - their daughter, despite her best efforts, needs some extra help - not a label - but a chance to succeed. You are a good woman Hil. I hope you can reach them.

Tobi said...

I'm totally guilty of this. As a parent I want to think my children are perfect and born genuises. I didn't want to see that their might be more going on. I would offer this advice, keep persisting and eventually the parents will come to the light. It only took me four years. I'm sure this particular set of parents is much smarter than I was.

Joe & Ashley said...

Thats so sad especially because it sounds like the child wants to be successful.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I agree with you totally. On another aspect, my take is that child development during the early stages is extremely important and no parent should ever forget that.

Jillian Renee Davis Garcia said...

Have you read Uncle Ron's book? It is called the Gift of Dyslexia. Maybe there is something in the book that could help. They could not complain if there were ways to implement these learning tricks for all your students, right? You should look into it! Couldn't hurt!
Love you and good luck!
He also has a website www.dyslexia.com