Standardizing Dyslexics Alexandra Gillespie

Although many assume that their ideas are enough, the real value lies in learning and thinking using perspectives other than the simple one.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote David and Goliath to show the importance of overcoming difficulties and to show how it can become an advantage. When people are faced with challenges, they can either overcome it and thrive or be defeated by it and fall.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects a person's ability to read and write. There are so many programs and diagnostic tests that help people with dyslexia, but there is still one last barrier to break: standardized testing. Tests that government issue close to never fit the needs of dyslexics, so it's hard for them. Even worse is that it's hard to distinguish between a student with dyslexia and one that simply struggles with things, therefore it's hard to get accommodations while taking these tests.
The political cartoon shown above is the overall problem with standardized tests: there are too many people absolutely convinced that it works. In some cases, it does. The results from standardized tests inspired a school in Alabama to invest more in diagnosing and treating dyslexia. But since some dyslexic students only struggle in timed tests or assignments, their otherwise good grades may prevent them from getting more time or other resources to help.
The quote by Albert Einstein and the political cartoon based off of it displays how out of place standard testing is for dyslexics. The students who aren't "standard" don't do well on these tests, so they go through their whole lives believing that they're stupid. Students believe this as well as teachers, politicians, colleges, and future employers.

In the video below, watch from 10 seconds through 38 seconds.

Even though dyslexics are starting to get help, the things that they had trouble with aren't going to go away without the proper assistance. The standardized testing process takes them back to before they were diagnosed. That's a step in the wrong direction.

David Boies is one of the most successful lawyers practicing today. He is also dyslexic and faced all of the difficulties today's dyslexics are facing. The quote above refers to the time table that prohibits dyslexics from getting the test done to the standards set by the government. If the tests don't accurately show the ability of dyslexics and timeliness while taking a test doesn't apply to the rest of their lives, why deal with it?
This, much like Mr. Boies, is a man who struggled with dyslexia. His name was Toby Cosgrove and went on to be a surgeon at a huge clinic in Cleveland. This almost never happened for him, as a standardized test that he failed got him rejected from 12 out of 13 of the medical schools he applied to. Thank goodness that one school accepted him, as he went on to save numerous lives. He was one of the earlier cases of standardized tests affecting intelligent people, which still goes on today.
This is how some dyslexics see words. Does this make any sense? Does it seem like the standard way to read? It's being tested on standardized tests, so it's being treated like it's standard. Dyslexia is being helped by organizations like the Yale Research Center for Dyslexia as well as the IDA (International Dyslexia Association). Their monumental efforts to spread awareness, improve treatments, and diagnose students earlier in their learning experience will help to highlight the need of accommodations for students with dyslexia.
Standardized testing is like a square block trying to go through a round hole. It just doesn't work. No matter how hard they try, a school system can't treat and test dyslexics the same as other students. David Boies said, “I think we're moving in that direction, but we're moving painfully slowly, which is wasteful for them and for our society." The students with dyslexia have been through enough throughout history. It's time we finish the final step to treating dyslexia.
Diagnosed Dyslexics get the accommodations they need, specifically if their grades are struggling. The ones that are at risk of being left without accommodations are the smart ones. Dyslexia only affects reading and spelling skills. If a student is smart enough to get around their struggles, the testing system assumes that they don't need the help even though they do. The headway being made will be too late for many struggling dyslexics.
Malcolm Gladwell harnessed challenges in David and Goliath and used them to his advantage. In every story that he told, he showed how overcoming difficulty has worked for so many people. Perspective on challenges also forces one to look beyond the restraints built by only one perspective. Multiple perspectives expose new ways to think and learn. Hope that the kids struggling with Dyslexia overcome this challenge.

Work Cited

Alexzilla408. “NFL Week 12: 5 Key Bengals to Watch for against Rams.” Cincy Jungle, Cincy Jungle, 26 Nov. 2015,

Bannon, Race. “Standardized Testing Shortcomings.” RaceBannoncom, Race Bannon, 21 Jan. 2013,

“David Boies, Attorney * The Yale Center for Dyslexia &Amp; Creativity.” David Boies, Attorney * The Yale Center for Dyslexia &Amp; Creativity, Yale Center for Dyslexia &Amp; Creativity, The article was published by a research center and gave the perspective of a man with Dyslexia. The content is all about one man and his perspective is given throughout without bias. There are no ads and there are no spelling or grammar issues.

Dyslexia. Directed by Josh Kreir, 19 Oct. 2012,

Dyslexia Kids Interview. Aspen Wellness Center, 8 Mar. 2013,

Gladwell, Malcolm. “David and Goliath.” Goodreads, Goodreads,

“A Matter of Perspective.”,

McDaniel, Deangelo. “Schools Will Focus on Identifying Students with Dyslexia Characteristics.” Decatur Daily, 7 Aug. 2016, Mainfile, The article was found through a database which found it through a news website so it is up to date. The content is news so it is very up to date. The information was just information and provided quotes from a variety of perspectives. There were no ads, it was easy to read and there were no errors in grammar or spelling.

Penola, Melanie. “Everyone Is a Genius.” Everyone Is a Genius, 16 Aug. 2011,

“The Real Cause of Dyslexia.” Gemm Learning, 29 Aug. 2015,

“Round Peg in Square Hole or Square Peg in Round Hole?” Round Peg in Square Hole or Square Peg in Round Hole?,

Sawyer, Diane J., and Karen M. Jones. “Testing and Evaluation.” International Dyslexia Association, International Dyslexia Association, The website that I used is for The website that I used is for an organization based only on dyslexia research. The purpose of the site is to inform about dyslexia. That is also the purpose of the organization that made the site. All information is consistent with the other information that I found. The grammar and spelling is good and there are headers to help with reading. an organization based only on dyslexia research.

Shaywitz, Sally. “Why Policy Change Is So Important * The Yale Center for Dyslexia &Amp; Creativity.” Why Policy Change Is So Important * The Yale Center for Dyslexia &Amp; Creativity, Yale University, 1992, Yale University is renowned for its studies and the website itself is up to date. The information given was published to spread awareness on the topic that I’m researching. That makes it a good source for me to use to further my own perspective. There are no ads and it reads like an informative article. That is consistent with other works that Yale has produced.

Wilkinson, Signe. “Signe Wilkinson's Editorial Cartoons.” Cartoonist Group, 13 Mar. 2012, This is a political cartoon and so it’s hard to test the validity of the author’s opinion but is coincides with the opinions of other people who I have seen online. The political cartoon shows the opinion of the author so the point is to see their perspective and that makes it helpful. There is very little writing, but the part that is written is clear and correct. There are also no ads on this site.

Wills, Amy. “Reading with Dyslexia.” Metro, 6 June 2015,

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