Families are often at a loss when they come to me because they know their children are suffering and need help but the system can be overwhelming and confusing. Because I've been a teacher myself, I understand how school districts operate.
Unfortunately, the school districts are not equipped to work with students that have been classified with any disability. Through my years as an advocate and prior as a teacher, I have seen firsthand how school personnel look at and treat students with special needs as a nuisance. They are lackluster when helping or trying to see a child progress and succeed. Not only is their approach questionable but more times than not, the individuals working with the children are not qualified. In the past, while working with a family whose child needed services from a speech therapist to assist with the formal diagnosis of DAS (Developmental Apraxia of Speech) the experience was less than productive. Unfortunately, after a short period of time went by with no progress and upon 1 of my observations at school, I witnessed the therapist had no idea what to do. When I asked her directly at an IEP meeting, that I called for the family, what is DAS - she had no idea. How are children going to receive the support services they need if the individuals hired (as a professional) in this field are ill-equipped?
If I was in a situation, personally, whereby I had a child with dyslexia or any other special need, I would 100% seek assistance elsewhere and place my child within a school who specializes in the area of need. Even if this means placing my child in a private school or homeschooling them. Unfortunately, only with a few exceptions, can the school districts address and truly help the special needs child. These individuals are not investing in the child and their success and therefore just placate the parents and push the child through until they are no longer "burdened" with them. It is a sad reality but unfortunately, it exists.
Ilene B. Miller, M.S. Ed. Is an Educational Consultant and Special Needs Advocate to families for children with special needs. She works with families nationwide to secure the support services their school district isn't providing but should.