Government's Responsibility to Help the Learning Disabled

Government's Responsibility to Help the Learning Disabled

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Over 3.1 million people in Canada have a learning disability. Eventually 35 percent of our kids who do no receive help with their disability will drop out of high school; 2 percent will complete a year college program. What does the government do to help these kids with their learning problems? Nothing; and this need to change.

Picture yourself sitting in a classroom. The teacher calls on you to read the first paragraph of chapter one. You look at the text and suddenly start seeing the words floating around and you’re stuttering on each word not knowing what you are reading, while on looking peers laugh and giggle at your every mistake. You feel embarrassed, ashamed and angry that you cannot read like everyone else in your class. You are someone with dyslexia. About 10 percent of BC students in special education have a learning disability (that’s 17,603 kids), which include disabilities like Dysnomia , ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder), Auditory processing disorder, and the most common, Dyslexia. What most of us do not know is that the government does not fund the schools that these kids are in, so they are stuck coping and trying to figure out how to learn with their learning disability without the help of others.

Early identification and early intervention – helping these kids before their problems become more complicated and costly to treat - is essential. Schools, with children or even teens that have learning problems need resources to help them achieve these basic skills most students have, but the government does not fund for these resources and that makes it even more difficult for them and the teachers who try and help. The BC Ministry of Education data for Special Education students’ province wide, shows that the percentage of students classified as ‘Learning Disabled’ has increased over the last five years both provincially and in the Vancouver School District and the highest among the different special needs classification such as Autism with 4,626. This clearly states that many kids need help.

The Learning Disabilities Association in Vancouver helps these kids by providing them with strategies and methods for their specific learning disorder. In reality most families cannot afford to sent kids to programs, so they depend solely on the schools, but that leads to nowhere for these kids. BC Human Rights Tribunal Chair, Heather McNaughton, December 21, 2005, states in her ruling against the BC Minister of Education: “ …education is a fundamental importance to our society….

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.those whose learning disabilities are not risked serious, are faced with significantly lessened opportunities, diminished self esteem, increased unemployment, increased juvenile delinquency, and an increased risk of suicide.” This says a lot about what these kids go through in their day to day life. Their self esteem isn’t on its highest peak due to the fact that most of them don’t feel worthy to continue education if they don’t know what they are learning, and that leads to long term consequences for them.

Learning Disabilities are life long, there are no cures. For success these individuals require early identification and help if they want the fundamental skills. They need resources to help them achieve this success, they need funding, and this funding is what’s stopping most of them to achieve these skills. The Government needs to pick up the slack and help fund these school with these special kids who need help because this problem is just to big to ignore.
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