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A broad group of interest groups are very concerned about the quality of education for children with dyslexia and the plans to make schools fully responsible for their guidance. The municipalities currently provide dyslexia care. However, State Secretary van Ooijen (Youth Care) is considering transferring dyslexia treatment to education to save costs. A proposal to this effect was previously adopted by René Peters (CDA).
This can be seen from a tour of the consumer program Kassa (BNNVARA), which tonight will pay close attention to the problems with care for dyslexia.
Organizations sound the alarm
Organizations that stand up for children with dyslexia and their parents’ interests, such as Parents and Education, Balans, the Dyslexie Netherlands Foundation and the Dutch Dyslexia Quality Institute, are sounding the alarm because they fear that schools cannot cope with dyslexia care. According to the organisations, it is already regularly impossible to provide reading teaching of sufficient quality.
This is also evident from a survey by the consumer program Kassa (BNNVARA) among nearly 300 parents of children with dyslexia or suspected dyslexia in elementary school. Although nearly half of parents believe that schools should provide dyslexia care themselves and no longer outsource it to commercial practitioners, they are concerned about whether schools can provide this care. More than half of the parents are dissatisfied with their child’s reading education. Almost 40 percent indicate that their child has not received the basic support needed to improve their reading and spelling skills, even though schools are required to do so.
“Children with severe dyslexia receive guidance far too late”
“Because the schools often fail to provide basic support, there is no case with which parents can demonstrate that their child is entitled to reimbursement,” says Joli Luijckx from the association Balans, which stands up for children with dyslexia. “Children with severe dyslexia often get the right guidance far too late. And children with suspected dyslexia keep getting worse.”
Currently, grants only apply to children under the age of thirteen with severe dyslexia who achieve three times the lowest CITO score and who do not improve despite the extra help provided. Children who are suspected of having dyslexia, who are too old or who simply score ‘too high’ are not eligible for subsidies.
Inequality of opportunity
Parents who are not entitled to a refund can choose to call in dyslexia help themselves if they are not satisfied with the guidance at school. But they often don’t because the costs are too high. Parents often spend 1000 euros for a dyslexia test, and the treatment can amount to no less than 4000 euros, reactions received by Kassa show. According to many, this leads to inequality of opportunity.
If it is up to René Peters (CDA), all children with dyslexia will from now on be helped through school for free. “The cabinet allocates one billion euros a year to improve the quality of education. Schools can use that money to hire extra staff to help children better. They can also include dyslexia experts who currently work for commercial agencies.”
The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has announced that dyslexia care is part of ongoing discussions about what falls under the Youth Act and what does not. “The aim is to reach an agreement this month,” a spokesman said.
State Secretary Van Ooijen promised at the end of last year to create more clarity about the reforms in youth care. However, the talks with the municipality and providers then got stuck on money.
It is estimated that one in twenty children has dyslexia. This means that there is a child with dyslexia in almost every class, says Balans.
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Watch Kassa on NPO2 on Saturday 21 January at 19.15.