READER REPORT:

NZ's education system is letting dyslexic kids down

SANDRA MARTIN
Last updated 09:13 22/02/2017
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The current education system leads to children with learning difficulties being incorrectly labelled as having behavioural issues.

Dyslexic learners being let down by NZ education system?

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Dyslexic learners being let down by NZ education system?

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Specific Learning Difficulty (SLD) children are a gift. They all have individual talents and with the correct education they will be the changemakers of tomorrow.

The ability to think outside of the box creates an opportunity for change but being in the current education system leads to children being incorrectly labelled as having behavioural issues.

My son has a range of learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and tips into dyspraxia.

READ MORE:
* Unique school helps unlock minds of dyslexic children
* 'I didn't get any help, I just thought I was dumb'
* Seven myths about dyslexia put to rest
'One of the biggest hurdles for a dyslexic is self-esteem'

We left the state education system due to the lack of understanding and mislabelling as behavioural. The lack of funding and awareness from teachers lead to him having low self-esteem. His peers and parents of other students saw him as naughty and not the sort of person they wanted their child to play with.

Teachers constantly told him off and placed him outside the classroom because he was in the too hard basket.

When he was diagnosed they were surprised. 'He seems so bright and can articulate well' was often the response from his teachers as well as 'he flew underneath the radar'.

Now he is at The Cathedral Grammar in Christchurch which has amazing learning services and understanding teachers. Within the first week, more than three years ago, his self-esteem lifted and his behaviour changed. His teachers no longer berated him, instead helping him to learn in a way he could understand.

Never again do I want to see children go through what my son did.

Once diagnosed a child understands they are not stupid and the correct steps can be put in place for them to learn and succeed. The earlier the better, before self-esteem issues arise due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.

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I am open about his learning difficulty and so is he. He is thriving, learning and succeeding in a school that embraces him as an individual.

If anything I am excited about his future as many successful people on this planet has some form of SLD.


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