Dyslexia 101: Part 6 - Advocating for Your Child at School or Yourself in the Workplace

Welcome to Part VI, the final post of our Dyslexia 101 series! The goal of this blog series was focused on expanding your understanding of dyslexia.

After this final post in LD Expert's Dyslexia 101 series you will have become able to:

  • Define dyslexia in a way that friends, family, and teachers can understand.

  • Understand common characteristics of dyslexia.

  • Understand how the common characteristics may impact students in the classroom and adults in the workplace.

  • Recognize common misconceptions and learn the facts that dispel them.

  • Understand what quality intervention looks like and describe why it is important that children have access to and receive early, evidence-based intervention services.

  • Advocate for your child at school or for yourself in the workplace

Today we will focus on advocacy, and what you can do and say to stand up for your child or yourself.

In Part I of this blog series, we broke down the definition of dyslexia for you. In Part II, we examined the characteristics of dyslexia by outlining common struggles and strengths. Part III focused on implications of dyslexia in the classroom and workplace. Part IV debunked some common misconceptions surrounding dyslexia. Part V explained how to choose an appropriate intervention program.

For the finale of our Dyslexia 101 Blog Series, you will learn:

  1. What is advocacy?

  2. How can I advocate for my child at school?

  3. How can I advocate for myself in the workplace?

What is Advocacy?

For the purposes of this blog, we love defining advocacy as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.

For our students with dyslexia and learning differences, advocacy is when we defend and explain the need for support, accommodations, modifications, and/or intervention at school so that our students can achieve and excel at the same rate as their peers. Advocacy most often occurs within the context of a school meeting but it can – and should – also occur for teens or adults in the workplace.

Successfully advocating for a student or adult typically involves three things:

  1. A deep knowledge & understanding of the person receiving the advocacy

  2. A comprehensive & professional level of knowledge related to the diagnosis/difficulty

  3. A functional & working understanding of the special education process and the rights of individuals with disabilities in both school and the workplace

Advocacy in a School-Based Setting

In a school-based setting, a parent is nearly always the person best equipped to advocate for a student using their deep understanding of who their child is as a person. This involves painting a clear picture of the student and can include information about:

  • The student's strengths, interests, or talents both inside and outside of school

  • The student's areas of weakness and/or challenging subjects

  • The student's emotional response to stressful and/or challenging situations related to schoolwork or the demands of the classroom

  • The amount of time the student spends working on homework and projects

  • The amount of support the student requires to complete homework

  • The length of time you've noticed these struggles or had concerns