Dear Mr./Mrs. Legislator, Educator, Principal, Guidance Counselor or Anyone who will listen...
Do you have children, grandchildren, neices or nephews? Could you imagine picking them up from school and asking them about their day only to be met with downcast eyes or tears because once again they failed that test (very badly) that they studied so hard for? What about having to repeatedly try to convince he or she that they are not dumb or stupid? These are only mild scenarios compared to what we, parents of dyslexic children, go through here in MS.
Our children hold great promise, but their ambition has been quickly tainted by their inability to compete and/or perform in the classroom because they are unable to produce results in the way it is expected. Our kids can not participate adequatley in the classroom because they are not playing on an even playing field.
As parents we have called teachers, principals and guidance counselors asking for help only to be told "Mississippi doesn't recognize dyslexia as a learning disability....there's nothing we can do." Many times that is the end of the conversation. There are no offers of even helping us find help. We are left on our own to keep our children in the game, when they want nothing more than to give up.
If Mississippi is concerned about literacy, then we as a state should take a very proactive approach towards Literacy and early interventions involving all forms of Dyslexia. It is very unrealistic to expect our children to perform well on state mandated tests when they look at a one page vocabulary test and watch words and letters run all over the page. Should our children be punished with bad marks because they can't match twenty vocabulary words on paper, but if split up they can match five at a time? Should they be punished because they experience multi-sensory overload? Right now they are.
We are begging anyone who will listen....please help our children. If you are a legislator can you help us with the law? If you are an educator and you recognize signs of dyslexia can you educate a parent on avenues that they may take to get help? If you are a guidance counselor, principal or pyschometrist could you offer other avenues for a parent to explore in order to advocate for their child instead of just shutting them down with "MS doesn't recognize dyslexia...."
Our kids have a future and they have dreams. They should count.