Children with dyslexia can learn to read if they are identified early and are provided with a structured literacy approach to reading that is evidence-based, explicit, sequential and cumulative and includes an emphasis on phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency and comprehension tailored to individual student needs.
LD is the largest exceptionality category in Ontario’s schools. Dyslexia is specifically referred to under the Learning Disability Exceptionality Category 4 yet few children with dyslexia receive the early identification and intervention that they require.
In 2015, approximately 44,000 children were waiting to be assessed or receive services for a Learning Disability (LD) in our province. It is common for schools to delay assessment for children who struggle to learn to read until Grade 3 and often later. This “wait and see” approach causes the child to fall further behind and leads to serious social & emotional struggles for a child with dyslexia.
We know that teachers want to help all children learn to read. However, in the province of Ontario, colleges of education are not providing teachers with the depth of knowledge and skills necessary to allow them to effectively identify and to teach a child with dyslexia to read.