Sunday, September 16, 2018

Colorado's Dyslexic Students Face Systemic Challenges

Here are extracts from a Colorado Public Radio News. 

Colorado's Dyslexic Students Face Systemic Challenges—If They Can Even Get A Diagnosis

But then she was failing. Years of struggling in class had worn away at her self-esteem, and eventually her will to live.” 

My comment: Yes, this is true with smart kids who cannot understand why they are smart and yet are unable to read. They enter school with very high self-esteem which is lost within a few months of entering grade one. My first student kept asking me ‘Uncle, do you think I am stupid?’This question was asked by him intermittently and stopped when he was able to read at grade level.

Read my blog post on self-esteem here.

"You see, I began to think it would be easier to be dead than it was to be alive. I felt very alone and like something was wrong with me," Dabronyi recalled before the Douglas County School Board. "I began to hurt myself in small ways and if it wasn't for my parents or my support system, it probably would have escalated."
“Dabronyi has dyslexia. She was driven to self-harm when she repeatedly didn't receive the type of instruction in school she needed to succeed, even though she was diagnosed in first grade. By the time Dabronyi entered ninth grade, she was reading at a second grade level. 
“Dabronyi is now a high school student and thriving in a private school, one that her family works extra jobs to afford.”

My comment: Yes, many of the kids who enter into a depressive state are the very smart kids who are unable to read in English. They simply cannot understand why they cannot read despite being smart. Read what one of the parents of my current student had said in an impromptu YouTube interview.

“Dyslexia is the leading cause of reading failure and school dropouts. Reading failure is the most commonly shared characteristic of juvenile justice offenders. One Texas study even showed that half of prisoners have dyslexia. About half of third graders in Colorado can't read at grade level, and many are students with dyslexia.”

My comment: How many percents of kids are truly dyslexic? I will say that it cannot be any higher than 2 (two) percent. However, people with vested interest would like the people to believe it is 1 in 5, or 20% of the population.

Yes, the smart kids who cannot read misbehave in school and are sent to juvenile detention. Why would half of the third graders be unable to read at grade level? It is simply because they had shut down from learning to read and are loosely termed dyslexic.

Yes, they are smart kids. How else did prison inmates win in a debate with Harvard University students?  

“The lucky few attend a school with a specialist who understands the type of instruction dyslexic children need. The vast majority do not, and go undiagnosed until a parent eventually pays the thousands of dollars for a private screening.”

My comment: What is the type of instruction that a dyslexic needs? A majority of these kids will not even end up in remediation if phonemes were taught correctly in schools.

“This waiting period can wreak havoc. Early identification is key: one study showed 90 percent of children can eventually be reading on grade level if they get help by first grade. But if they don’t receive assistance until age 9 or later, 75 percent will struggle throughout their entire school careers.”

My comment: “…90 percent of children can eventually be reading at grade level if they get help by first grade…” The question we need to ask is how is that possible. Why don’t we prevent kids from shutting down in the first place and eliminate the requirement for remediation altogether?

Not Enough Educators Teach The Best Way For Dyslexic Students

My comment: STOP! Pause and meditate on the above words. Why not teach the best (correct) way as I have said in my book ‘Shut down kids’. I made that discovery after more than a decade of teaching, observing and ‘interviewing’ so-called dyslexic kids.

“But even if a child's dyslexia is diagnosed when they're young, they often will not go on to receive the "structured literacy" instruction they need.”

My comment: If kids are taught the proper phonemes from the onset they will all learn to read and there will be no ‘Reading Wars’.

“All humans are wired to speak, but not to read. Mastering the skill will always be a code to crack. The most-entrenched way to teach reading in schools is called the "whole language approach." This style of instruction immerses kids in book-rich environments and uses pictures and other clues to help kids decipher whole words, and assumes students will learn to read from there.
But the whole language approach does not work for every child, and it can be disastrous for dyslexic students. The structured literacy method is proven to be the most effective for everyone. It depends on explicit and systematic phonics instruction, breaking words and sounds into parts, and learning how to decode in a sequential way.
But instead, what's taught in many Colorado schools is a combination of the two methods, the "balanced reading approach." And it robs students with dyslexia of the positive effects of the structured literacy style.”

My comment: I teach my students phonics and at the same time ask them to learn the Dolch words by heart. The statement that rote learning should not be encouraged was created by an idiot that has been quoted by many people without thinking.

Many of the Dolch words are best learned by rote. I can get my students who cannot even read a simple sentence to read after introducing 3 Dolch words, and phonics, to read word family ‘at’. I have explained this in my book.

What is wrong with teaching using both phonics and memorising Dolch words?

"We’ve got chronic academic failure because we're not providing even the screenings," Senator Beth Martinez Humenik said. "And when parents are coming in, shame on these schools and shame on these administrations for telling them, 'We're not going to talk about this.”

My comment: Contact me by Whatsapp or via my blog and I will provide free screening and confirm if your kid is a shut down kid.


Teacher Judy said...

It is not a coincidence that English-speaking countries have the highest dyslexia rates. English and how we teach it are the problems, not the learners.
I agree with memorizing the Dolch list. The most common English words suffer from the craziest spellings. I wholeheartedly endorse Denise Eide and her system for teaching reading in Uncovering the Logic of English.
What is abundantly clear is although teachers are amazing, dedicated people, their training is abysmal. With the archaic nonsense tools teacher receive in their training, they can’t make the difference students deserve.

Luqman Michel said...

Teacher Judy, thank you very much for your insightful contribution. Glad that another teacher agrees with how we teach English is the main problem. This is especially so for the approximate 30% who are predisposed to shutting down.
Often we only look at the 70% of kids who appear to learn regardless of the way they are taught.
A big thank you for agreeing with memorising Dolch words. I don't see why they fuss on memorising these 220 words. As I have mentioned elsewhere the kids going to Chinese schools have to memorise about 600 to 800 Chinese characters in their first year in school followed by an additional 600 characters each year for the next 6 years.
Let us not forget the many kids who enter kindergarten and shut down because they have been listening to wrong phonemes on television and videos for a few years.
There should be some checking on YouTube videos which teach wrong phonemes. I wrote to YouTube administrators and they said that they are not in the business of education. However, with my daughters help we managed to terminate 3 You Tube videos.