Megan Lordos, a middle school teacher, says she was not allowed to use the word “dyslexia.”
She’s not alone. Parents and teachers across the country have raised concerns about some schools hesitating, or completely refusing, to say the word.
As the most common learning disability in the U.S., dyslexia affects somewhere between 5 and 17 percent of the population. That means millions of school children around the country struggle with it.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools are required to provide special services to help these students — things like reading tutors and books on tape. But those special services can be expensive, and many schools don’t have the resources to provide these accommodations.
That has led some parents and advocates to worry that some schools are making a careful calculation: If they don’t acknowledge the issue — or don’t use the word “dyslexia” — then they are not obligated to provide services.
Last year, when Lordos was teaching English at a public school in Arlington, Va., she recalls a parent-teacher meeting in the conference room. Things started smoothly.