Typical Special Education Services
Usually, a child with dyslexia will have an IEP that will provide that she will spend most of her day in the regular classroom, but also spend part of her day in a resource room with a special ed teacher. Resource rooms provide support for children for a small portion of the school day. Class size is typically limited to eight to fourteen students, allowing individualized attention and small group instruction. The resource room typically serves the needs of children with a variety of learning difficulties. Your child may also spend a specified amount of time each week working with a speech and language therapist or an occupational therapist.
Research shows that children placed in special ed often fare worse over time than their counterparts in regular classrooms, often showing an overall deterioration in reading skills rather than an improvement. This may stem from practices that deprive children of exposure to grade-level language arts instruction while they are receiving remedial reading instruction.
If warranted, the IEP may specify that your child be placed in a special education classroom for all of her studies. The IDEA requires that services be given in the “least restrictive environment,” meaning that your child should not be removed from the regular classroom for more time than absolutely necessary to provide supportive educational services. Full-time placement in a special ed class is rarely a good choice for children with dyslexia, as it often segregates them to learn with children with much more severe intellectual and emotional problems. If such a placement is being considered for your child, be sure to visit the special ed classroom; although rare, there are some special ed or LD classrooms with skilled and innovative teachers who are able to bring out the best in their students. Some schools may have specialized classrooms for dyslexia. While you should be wary of a full-time special ed placement, keep an open mind until you have met the teacher and seen for yourself what type of students will be in the classroom with your child.