Questions Parents and Educators Can Ask to Start Conversations About Using Terms Like Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia

When parents and educators use the same terms to describe a child’s challenges, it’s easier for them to communicate and work together. Parents and educators may have different opinions about specific terms like dyslexia or more general terms like learning disabilities. Understanding these terms and agreeing on which to use can help prevent confusion and conflict. It can also lead to a shared understanding of a child’s needs. Eleven diverse national organizations joined together to develop ideas for having this conversation. We hope this resource will add clarity so terminology doesn’t get in the way. Then parents and educators can

I struggle with reading and memorization and was diagnosed with Dyslexia and ADD. I take medication which really seems to help. I want to go back to school but my training program has a policy that states that some medications can’t be used while training. Can I get an exception? How do I approach this situation to ensure I am not discriminated?

Take a copy of your evaluation documentation to the school’s ADA office (sometimes called Student Support Services), along with a letter from your doctor that explains what medication you’re taking and how that medication will help you meet the program goals without interfering with any of the required tasks during training.  If all your paperwork is current – probably needs to be within the last 3 years – then you may be able to get an exception from the school for taking the medication.

However, if your training program is part of a military organization, you may not be able to receive an exemption.  The Armed Forces are not required to grant accommodations, such as extended test time, on the qualifying test. Further, military regulations provide that academic skills deficits that interfere with school or work after the age of 12 may be a cause for rejection for service in the Armed Forces. These regulations also provide that current use of medication, such as Ritalin or Dexedrine, to improve academic skills is disqualifying for military service.