This month has been designated Dyslexia Awareness Month throughout the world. As a result we have seen a number of prominent celebrities speak out about their Dyslexia and how it has affected them. Richard Branson went so far as to say he didn’t believe he would have been as successful in business if he wasn’t Dyslexic. This publicity is helping to increase awareness of how many people are affected by Dyslexia, with estimates ranging from ten to fifteen per cent of national population.
The Dyslexia Association of Ireland published a report this week highlighting the need for more teacher training at primary and second level. They also reported that parents feel unsupported by the education system when they discover their child has Dyslexia.
The American Department of Education this week issued a statement saying that the word Dyslexia must be used when diagnosing children with Specific Learning Difficulties and this is real progress. Up to this many schools were saying they didn’t like to label children! But Dyslexia is not a label. It is a Specific Learning Difficulty and correct diagnosis and identification is essential to ensure that children with Dyslexia are given the support and tuition needed to help them achieve their potential.
Look at the names of some of the Dyslexics who have succeeded in their chosen careers. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Brendan O’Carroll, Roald Dahl and so many more. They did this despite poor educational support. How many more Dyslexics will succeed and contribute hugely to society, if information and training is provided to teachers and parents.
It is incumbent on teachers to seek information and training as our job is to provide the best tuition we can to every child in our classrooms. In Ireland, it is essential that teachers and parents put pressure on our government and the Department of Education and demand more finance is committed to providing expert training and supports. Under our constitution, children are guaranteed a right to an education suitable to our needs and parents should not have to spend money on private assessments and tuition.
So let us use this month of Dyslexia Awareness! Share posts and blogs that provide correct information about Dyslexia. In this pre-election period challenge those seeking election! Ask them to make Dyslexia a priority in their campaign. Everybody can contribute to improving the poor provision available at present and we can then make sure that children achieve their full potential!