International law

At an international level, the education of children with lexical-graphic disorders is in the centre of attention through the acknowledgement of this category of children and availability of specialized services focusing on their needs. They benefit from various facilities, also referred to as rights to education and social integration aiming at offering equal chances. They can learn in schools dedicated to dyslexic children or in special, inclusive classrooms. At an international level, there are many schools for dyslexic children, for instance: Landmark School – Massachusetts, Prentice School – Orange County, Gow School and Kildonan School– New York, Westmark School – California, Eton Academy – Michigan, Glenforest School – South Carolina, The Briarwood School, Shelton School and Odyssey School in Texas, SUA, Gap Academy and Dunblaine School in Toronto, Canada, Eerde International School in The Netherlands, The Moat School in London, Mark College in the UK, etc. The characteristics of these schools are: • Dyslexia-friendly schools; • Classrooms with a small number of pupils (8-10 pupils or even 5-7 pupils); • In some schools, each pupil learns according to a tailored learning plan; • In other schools children learn several subjects according to the national curriculum, but in an understanding and systematic learning environment, using adequate learning methods, an individualized curriculum being applied, if required; • Teaching methods adapted for dyslexic children, considering the children’s various learning styles, according to the principle: “If they cannot understand our teaching method, then we should learn how they understand”; • Well equipped classrooms, with special didactic materials; • Providing specific therapies: speech therapy, psychotherapy, kinetotherapy; • The specialists team is made of: speech therapists, psychologists, kinetotherapists, teachers, all trained in dyslexia; • Extracurricular activities, developing the children’s personality and talents; • Funds for the provision of specific needs; • Focus on increasing dyslexic children’s self-esteem and, on the valuing them; • Individual differences are acknowledged and capitalized. In many countries, dyslexic children who learn in special classrooms or individually integrated in public schools benefit from certain rights provided at all the levels of the education system (pre-school, elementary school, secondary school, upper education) and in the adult life, guaranteed according to the equal chances principles: • Free education; • Early tracking and intervention, with a focus on prevention; • In kindergarten – therapeutic activities for children with dyslexia predisposition; • The parents’ right to choose the type of education appropriate for their children (school for dyslexics, special classroom or individual integration in the public school); • Services for parents for parental counseling, informing them on the best education practices and on the individualized curriculum (IEP); • An adequate education, the pupil’s right to an individualized curriculum (IEP); • Dyslexia-friendly schools providing the psychical and physical conditions for the children’s development; • Teachers trained in dyslexia and adequate learning methods; • The right to specific therapies (speech therapy, psychotherapy, kinetotherapy), supporting psychological and physical development, increasing the learning capacity, correcting deficiencies, reducing the lack of knowledge or skillfulness; • The right to ongoing assessment and reorientation; • Support in taking notes, the possibility to record the lessons in audio format; • Children with learning disorders can be exempted from certain subjects or chapters, from assessment and marking in the respective subjects, with the principal’s approval (for instance, foreign languages); • If the pupil is exempted from certain subjects or chapters, individual activities are developed for him/her; • At the high school graduation examination, children with learning disorders can choose other examination subjects instead of the ones which he/she was exempted from; • In all written examinations, pupils are entitled to a longer time (20-60 min.), spelling is not assessed, the child can use the computer or other means employed during the learning period; • Written examinations can be replaced with oral examinations or vice versa, depending on the child’s disability; • Students with lexical-graphic disorders are entitled to: verbal examination instead of written or vice versa, using the computer, dictionaries during written examinations; • Students suffering from dyscalculia can be exempted from calculation-related examination or can use the learning tools employed during the learning period; • Dyslexia-friendly workplaces ensuring the dyslexics’ needs for optimum work deployment (labor conditions, support technology). Schools for dyslexic children: http:// http:// http:// Useful links: