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Principal Olive Wagstaff Responds to Vancouver Sun story

on 28 October 2015

Re: Dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder on the rise among B.C. students, Oct. 19

Getting insufficient assistance with reading is not the first or most difficult hurdle young, bright and eager children encounter in their education. They first have to be identified as having difficulty reading. With overwhelmed teachers, underfunding and wait-lists as long as three years, many students are in middle school before they are offered any type of special reading assistance.

Imagine you are 11 years old and you still can’t read the way your peers can. Imagine how you would feel going to school every day. Frustrated? Anxious? Lonely? It breaks my heart to know this happens, yet it often does.

As principal of a school devoted to educating children with learning disorders such as dyslexia, I see young students enter our building thinking “I can’t.” I can’t read. I can’t learn. I can’t be like everyone else. But like all educators, I know they can.

It is imperative children who need extra supports with reading be identified as early as possible to ensure their learning needs are met.

OLIVE WAGSTAFF

Principal, James Cameron School, Maple Ridge

This letter is in response to Dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder on the rise among B.C. students, Vancouver Sun, October 19, 2015