My Facebook feed is often full of my buddies, both from my teenage years and from more recent times, venting about their ongoing fights with their kids’ schools to have the IEPs followed or their kids included in school activities. It’s disturbing how so many of them are facing the same issues, especially since they’re scattered all over the country.
When it comes to accommodations, it seems as if the proactive steps that IEPs are put in place to take aren’t being taken, and the resulting struggles are handled in a reactive way. That seems to be the mainstream philosophy of American culture in general.
Even when we know there’s something that will cause challenges down the line, we wait until after the fact to handle it. That’s just as true in education as it is in politics, medicine, crime and any other area of contention.
Many of my friends have more than one child, and I often see them talking about how they notice similar signs in younger siblings that they did their older children. These younger kids can be caught earlier, which would prevent turmoil in later years, but parents still seem to run into the same, or sometimes worse, static when it comes to official diagnosis and therapy.
If you have the chance to help a child early on, why wouldn’t you? What’s the harm in at least helping knowledgeable parents get early assistance for the younger siblings?
Part of it is “conventional knowledge” and regulations. If a child is suspected as dyslexic at home, they’re less likely to even get tested if they’re pre-third grade or they’re not struggling yet in school.
I’ve seen articles state that it’s impossible to diagnose a child with dyslexia until they’re in the third grade, yet I was identified in kindergarten. I was then re-tested a year later, with the same results.
Back then, there wasn’t a lot of help available for teaching dyslexic kids, but today, teachers and parents have decades of research to fall back on and options for multi-sensory education. Why not at least evaluate learning styles early on and help kids who learn differently get the basics down early on?
I just don’t understand why the option isn’t even available for so many students. More and more research piles up that early intervention is vital in ensuring success down the line, so why are politics still getting in the way?
Maybe it’s time to start turning our thinking around about problem solving in general. This sort of thing happens in other social areas, too. Preventing the problem before it arises is always better than cleaning up the mess afterwards.