14 answers

Middle School

My daughter is highly anxious, very bright and extremely dyslexic. In elementary we did not get an IEP because we wanted to keep her unlabeled. She gets supportive services after school, but its limited. She just started middle school and I am already freaked out. I told her I would let her decided whether or not to tell her teachers she is dyslexic. But, now I think we may have over supported her all of these years she doesn't seem to care if they see her handwriting and spelling and assume she is really stupid. I said her math teacher needed to know! She agreed to tell her. Should I figure that since the teachers have team meetings that she'll spread the word?

Do I wait and see? Do I let her take some control over this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I guess I wasn't too clear: the lack of an IEP was the school's decision really not ours. We pay for a reading dyslexia specialst who works with her afterschool. But, I spoke, at length with her today and she said we needed to force the school to give her the IEP this year. And she already has gotten negative reactions from teachers when she has told them in the past that she was dyslexic, so it is not always the case that everyone is on board in dealing with dyslexia as they should. We don't treat it like an illness or something to hide, it is something she needs to learn to deal with like being left handed.

Thank you all for your advice it is appreciated.

Featured Answers

I get the IEP, I didn't get one for my older two. What I don't get is you not telling the teachers. I told the teachers what was going on from the get go. It wasn't until high school that they could choose to tell the teachers or not.

No the teachers will not spread the word, they will assume you have told who you want to know.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Absolutely share this information with her teachers, they need to know!
Honestly it's not about being labeled, your daughter has a real learning difference. Her teachers are responsible for educating her and they can't do their job if they don't have all the information. I mean, you don't really want them to think your daughter is just lazy or sloppy, do you?

And I'm all for giving kids ownership of their education but I think your daughter is too young to make this decision for herself. You need to make the call as her mom to make sure her school has as much information about her abilities and limitations as possible.

4 moms found this helpful

Is she really old enough to make this decision herself?

Personally, I think the teachers need to be told. They're going to "figure it out" anyway but sadly, probably after a half year of poor grades. Tell them.

4 moms found this helpful

Well coming from a parent of a child that has learning disabilities I can't imagine not getting an IEP done. I understand not wanting your child labeled but your daughter may have missed out on some valuable resources. But with that said, I do understand why you chose not to. I would definitely meet with the teachers and inform them of her situation. If they knew, they may be able to assist her better. There is no shame in needing the extra help. But it would be a shame if she chose to ignore it and not receive the help she needs. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I really don't understand parents who avoid thier child being "labeled" when they can get important help that will allow them to succeed in school. My son has language based learning disabilities which includes some dyslexia. I had him evaluated in pre-school and he's had vital services all through elementary school and in middle school. The "label" does nothing more than provide the supportive services your child needs in the classroom - like preferential seating, extra time to take tests, "push-in" assistance in the classroom (as opposed to "pull-out" an extra teacher is in the classroom to assist the kids that need a little extra help).

The IEP and extra services my son has recieved have been essential in his success in middle school (he's in his 2nd yr of mid school). He's been able to attain "creditible" rating on his report cards (one step removed from honor roll) and has only missed honor roll by less than a point. Like your child, my son is a very bright kid who struggles with a learning disability.

My advice from one mom to another - don't do a disservice to your child - have her evaluated for services. Middle school is a different level of pressure - student learn how to keep lots of balls in the air at one time so they're prepared for high school - when it really gets hectic! It takes months to get the evaluation completed and services set up so it will probably be the Spring before she would even begin to recieve extra services. You won't regret it.

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Some things are not children's respnsibility to tell teachers. A learning disability, dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety issues are a few of them.
I would have a meeting with the homeroom teacher or the one who is ultimately in charge of her and tell her what is going on. Better if you can meet with all her teachers at once. They do need to know.

2 moms found this helpful

As a former classroom teacher, I really think you need to go in and let the school know what is going on. The services and accommodations that a school can provide for students can be wonderful and support her in her learning. She is probably very frustrated because her needs are not being met since her teachers do not know what the problem is. "Labeling" your child is not a negative thing... it is a means of getting her the help and support that she needs. When I had students with IEPs, I did not have to guess what was going on with them or make assumptions about their abilities. I had a team of support staff that helped me accommodate that student's needs and find ways that they could best learn. By asking your daughter if she "wants" to tell her teachers, you may be sending her a message that she has a problem that she should be embarrassed about. Instead, you should send her the message that when her teachers know what she needs, they can help her more. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I get the IEP, I didn't get one for my older two. What I don't get is you not telling the teachers. I told the teachers what was going on from the get go. It wasn't until high school that they could choose to tell the teachers or not.

No the teachers will not spread the word, they will assume you have told who you want to know.

2 moms found this helpful

Get an IEP. It will be a good support for her so she doesn't get labeled as "lazy" or anything else negative (you said you want to keep her "unlabeled"). The supports put in place by an IEP can assist her in learning how to learn with her dyslexia.
My opinion is based on having a close friend that's had dyslexia all her life & wasn't told by her parents until she was an adult (to this day she states she wishes she knew & teachers knew as she thought she was "dumb"). It is also based on my experience in working with children who have, & don't have (but should) IEP's.
Good luck with this!

1 mom found this helpful

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