The Dyslexia Foundation (TDF) hosted a weekend symposium, Beyond a Reading Disability, November 13-15, 2015, at MIT Endicott House, to consider and discuss currently available research about the current issue of whether there are specific areas of giftedness present in dyslexics, and how that should be studied.
Students learn best when their differences are understood and accepted, when appropriate accommodations are made available and, most importantly, when their strengths as learners are defined, affirmed, and cultivated. Our approach – respecting differences and building on strengths – is vital for students who learn differently and may well serve as a successful model for educating all students, in all schools.
"Of course, whether this is a positive thing or a negative thing depends on the context. The ability to control your attention is most certainly a valuable asset; difficulty inhibiting your inner mind can get in the way of paying attention to a boring classroom lecture or concentrating on a challenging problem. But the ability to keep your inner stream of fantasies, imagination, and daydreams on call can be immensely conducive to creativity. By automatically treating ADHD characteristics as a disability-- as we so often do in an educational context-- we are unnecessarily letting too many competent and creative kids fall through the cracks".By Scott Barry Kaufman
“On behalf of children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities in our districts, we request that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issue guidance to states and school districts regarding the use of the term ‘dyslexia,' " the congressmen said in the letter.
“Despite the prevalence of dyslexia among students, parents nationwide have discovered that some states and school districts will not include the word “dyslexia” in a students’ Individualized Educational Program (IEP),” the letter said. “In many cases, parents have been told that their state does not 'recognize' dyslexia; and instead only uses the term ‘specific learning disability.’ Families in our congressional districts rely on access to a high-quality education for their children with dyslexia. We look forward to your ensuring that the millions of students with dyslexia receive the evidence-based instruction and interventions needed to succeed in school and life.”
Structural brain differences between children with dyslexia and dysgraphia and children who are typical language learners have been observed by researchers in a recent study. Researchers say the findings prove that using a single category of learning disability to qualify for special education services is not scientifically supported.
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