What is going on in our schools?
by Chontae Feldman
Looking at the data for my ISD got me thinking. If I have a hard time getting my daughters identified, what are the other parents going through? Did they all have to fight for their children’s rights? Did they also feel out of their element sitting in the rooms with the IEP\504 team? Why are our children still being denied?
I’ve put together some info on different areas of the Special Population umbrella.
What percent of the population is dyslexic?
70-80% of people with poor reading skills, are likely dyslexic. One in five students, or 15-20% of the population, has a language based learning disability. Dyslexia is the most common of the language based learning disabilities. Nearly the same percentage of males and females have dyslexia.
Current studies indicate that one half of all the students who qualify for special education are classified as having a learning disability (LD) (6–7%). About 85% of those students have a primary learning disability in reading and language processing. Nevertheless, many more people— 15–20% of the population as a whole—have some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words. Not all of these will qualify for special education, but they are likely to struggle with many aspects of academic learning and are likely to benefit from systematic, explicit, instruction in reading, writing, and language.
What percent of the population is serviced under special education?
In 2010, 19% of the population had a disability, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2015–16, the number of students ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.7 million, or 13% of all public school students. Among students receiving special education services, 34% had specific learning disabilities. This disability category includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia (a type of language disorder).
What percent of the population is gifted (GT)?
For this group, the population we should be focusing on is the top 2.5 - 3% of achievers, not the top 5 to 10 percent.
Nearly 70% of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115 on most tests. The scores above 115 are generally considered as “high IQ,” and those above 130 to 132 (depending on the test taken) are usually considered highly gifted and are in the top 2% of the population.
What if I told you there was another group?
Well there is, it’s the Twice Exceptional, or 2E.
2 to 5% of the gifted population have LDs and 2 to 5% of students with LDs are gifted.
The term twice exceptional, often abbreviated as 2e, entered educators' lexicons in mid 1990s and refers to gifted children who have some form of disability.
And, how do Texas ISDs stack up to these percentages?
Regardless of where your child falls, you, as a parent, must educate yourself. You will have to learn to stand up for your child. You will have to learn what services your child needs. And, you will more than likely have to fight for your child to get these services.
Chontae Feldman is a co-founder for The Dyslexia Initiative. She is dyslexic, and a mother of 2 dyslexic daughters.