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Ask an Expert: Help for dyslexic daughter at school

Q. My eighth-grade daughter has a specific learning disability, orthographic dyslexia. She is a very slow reader (third or fourth grade level). She adds words and struggles with written expression. Yet her reading comprehension is at an 11th grade level, and she is two levels ahead in math. She has an IEP, and is supposed to get direct instruction in fluency and written expression, but for seven months the instructor has not worked with her. Nobody is tracking her progress against stated goals. What do I do?

A. If this child has an IEP then the school is legally bound to provide the services listed in the IEP, otherwise they are discriminating on the basis of disability.

If you feel that she is not adequately receiving services and interventions then it is your job as the parent to escalate the issue until the school complies. You can start with the classroom teacher and the special education teachers and then move on to administration.

The school can be in legal trouble if it does not offer the exact accommodations and modifications listed in 504 and IEP plans. If, for some reason, you feel that your child’s school is not taking you seriously, then I recommend contacting the Office for Civil Rights.

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