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Dyslexia: A Common Learning Disability But Help Is Rare

One of the most common learning disabilities is dyslexia. It is a "receptive language-based learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with decoding, fluent word recognition, rapid automatic naming, and/or reading comprehension skills," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has been an officially identified disorder since 1881. 

Despite the official recognition and the prevalence of the learning disability, it seems to remain one of the disabilities that allows children to slip through the cracks. Parents often have to fight with schools or school districts just to get the help that their child desperately needs to succeed. 

Children with dyslexia don't actually visually mix up letters or words, their cognitive pathway for analyzing information or images is different and requires more steps. In some cases, children have been found to learn better with alternative methods. 

Take a young boy from San Diego named Zachary. He had significant trouble reading. With hard work and the assistance of a private tutor using movement, sound and sight to help him, he is now reading at his grade level. 

Where was the help from the school? She found out early that the San Diego Unified School District doesn't test for the disorder, even though she highly suspected it was behind her son's struggles with reading when she learned her husband was dyslexic. 

When she finally got an outside assessment, the school provided the same program that autistic children get at the school. The problem is that autistic and dyslexic children don't learn in the same way.

If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability or requires an individualized education program for any reason, an attorney can help ensure that the school works with you not against you.

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