B.C. needs qualified dyslexia specialists

Re: “Dyslexia gets less funding than needed,” column, Feb. 12.

I was pleased to see some attention given to the lack of resources for dyslexia assessment and intervention in the public-school system.

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As the grandparent of a dyslexic child, my experience of this has been eye-opening. In Victoria, specialized teams are not there, the wait for assessment can be years, teachers trained in specialized methodologies do not exist, despite the fact that dyslexia affects one in five people.

Assessment and tutoring have to be paid by the family at a considerable cost. There are many sympathetic and well-meaning people, but the resources are not there at a classroom or district level to help diagnose children with language-based difficulties.

Not having success with reading and writing can affect the entire course of a person’s life. Research in the field of neuroplasticity has shown that early intervention is crucial.

What can we do to have B.C. educators and government gain a better understanding of this issue? Other provinces, such as Ontario, fund dyslexia specialists. Perhaps the parents and grandparents of dyslexic kids need to band together to put pressure on the provincial government to fund qualified specialists.

Ruby Smyth

Victoria

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