Life Stories and Life Strategies of Parents and their Children with Dyslexia
Devilbiss, Urith Ann
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Learning to read is an essential life skill. Recent Educational policy initiatives at the national level have emphasized the importance of reading as an essential life skill in American society. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 states the commitment of President Bush to ensuring that every child in the United States of America can read by the end of third grade. Thus, this act has the potential to impact one of the three groups in the elementary learning to read population. The group of elementary aged children who struggle to learn to read will have difficulty becoming literate. The child who struggles to learn to read may be identified as possibly having a condition that is described in the literature as dyslexia. Dyslexia is often a misunderstood, misdiagnosed secret shame for those individuals who are identified with this condition. The impact of this diagnosis on the individual as well as their families causes much confusion among these individuals as well as among all of the scientific fields (educational, medical and psychological) dedicated to helping the child and their family. First person accounts of how elementary-aged children and their families accommodate for their child's dyslexia need to be given a voice in all of the scientific communities that study dyslexia. Recording and researching the daily life experiences will open the door to view the many struggles that these children face. The children's understanding of their dyslexia and the accommodations the children and their families make for the dyslexia is an important but missing area in the literature. Providing an outlet for these missing voices should encourage better communication among all the professions especially interested in the study of dyslexia. Then, living daily with dyslexia can be more readily understood and will not forever remain a hidden, shadowy, and often misunderstood, secret shame.