NCLD's Executive Director, James Wendorf, commented on last week's piece on dyslexia in The New York Times. Here’s his letter to the editor:
"The Upside of Dyslexia,” by Annie Murphy Paul (Sunday Review, Feb. 5), rightly points out that while all people with dyslexia struggle with reading, some demonstrate unique strengths. What this research does not underscore is the extent to which this learning disability negatively affects millions of lives.
Nearly two million students in our public schools struggle with reading because of dyslexia. Learning to read with accuracy, fluency and comprehension greatly increases the likelihood of high school graduation, enrollment in college and career success. Dyslexia presents real obstacles to these students.
Twenty percent of students with disabilities drop out, and only 67 percent graduate with a regular diploma. These alarming statistics reinforce the need for additional research to further our understanding of the neurobiology of learning, particularly as it relates to students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
While the research featured in the article is welcome, we shouldn’t minimize the challenges that students with disabilities face every day.
JAMES H. WENDORF Executive Director, National Center for Learning Disabilities New York, Feb. 6, 2012.