#035 If You Teach, You Need To Watch This Documentary!

Instead of a podcast this week I would like to share this moving documentary and the words from TLC's co-creator, Karyn Fua ............

This week I watched the documentary ‘Our Dyslexic Children’.

The film documents the story of a group of parents in a suburban school district near Columbus, Ohio who discovered their children had something in common – they could not read. They were languishing in a reading intervention program and their dyslexia was not being identified or remediated as is required by US federal law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

The group banded together to form the grassroots organization, Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia (UA-KID).  Together they filed a systemic, group complaint with the Ohio Department of Education and the district was found to be in violation of all three allegations.

Their story hit pretty close to home for me, the children interviewed were telling my daughter’s story, her frustrations, her feelings of low self worth and the transformation through her primary years as dyslexia insidiously tightened it’s grip on her. 

Whilst I celebrated the victory of this parent group, I couldn’t help but think of the millions of children around the globe who may never have anyone to advocate for them, like the Ohio parents did for their children and like I can for my child .... the children whose opportunities for a full and potential reaching life are abruptly cut short, because the very instructional methods needed to teach them have not made it to most early years classrooms.

I founded the Literacy Collective in 2019 along with Camilla Occhipinti, to rewrite future stories of reading failure. Spurred on by my own daughter’s challenges, I wanted to do everything I could do to ensure teachers were equipped to teach dyslexic and vulnerable children.

The most surprising thing that I uncovered in my research, was that the methods needed to teach dyslexic children are the methods by which all children will learn best, and that these methods were hiding in plain sight. 

There’s a rumbling underfoot, the Reading Science train has left the station, overcoming the obstacles that kept it stationary for so long. It’s gaining momentum and there's no turning back.

For the sake of the students who face life long disadvantage, stemming from low literacy achievement, we as teachers and educators need to get on board. 

Not because government will legislate it (and they will) or because schools will face litigation if they don't get on board (it’s already happening in the US) but because at the heart of the profession itself is a desire to help every child thrive. 

Thank you for your continued support of the TLC podcast and our mission. It truly is our pleasure to be journeying together with you. 

 

Karyn Fua

Co Founder of TLC

Teacher, Parent and Total Optimist 

 

Join me next week for Podcast #36 where I share a case study about a group of teachers identifying reading deficits in the first year of schooling and the strategies they are using to boost reading abilities.

I'll answer some of the most common questions that I hear from early primary teachers:

‘What skills should students have by now?’

‘What should we do for these students?’

‘When and how should we be assessing them?’

‘When should we provide withdrawal intervention?’

This podcast will certainly hit the mark for teachers wanting to provide early intervention and give their students the crucial foundational skills for reading!

 

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