DSA and Act 170: the false myth of school grants

We read with some astonishment and discreet indignation the article with the title “SLD and BES: exaggeration or a sign of great social development?”.

The author, Giuseppe D’Angelo, immediately discovers his papers and defines Specific learning disorders like a serious limit and cause for shame. Or rather, he explains in a burst of sincerity that if he himself had been diagnosed dyslexia, he would have felt “stigmatized and different from others, deprived of some capacity that others possess”. In other words, a DSA seen by the author as one error, a reason for social devaluation. The fact is, dear D’Angelo, that each of us has limits more or less big, definitely she too, everything depends on how to overcome them. Especially for these young people, this means using ad hoc tools and an effective study method. But one is also needed attention, know where your difficulties come from and for this you need a diagnosis. In reality, for the author, the diagnosis would often have another purpose: to achieve “Easy campaigns”. From what he writes, among other things, it is clear that a serious school is one that does not promote easily. This refers to an ancient paradigm of the teacher who believes that he is good when he fails the students and not when he enables them to achieve the educational success envisaged in Presidential Decree 275/99.

The author’s philosophy – we hope he is not a teacher – is a kind of eugenic pedagogy. Law 170, is his thesis, does not encourage children to improve, but ensures that they surrender to their own difficulties. “On the contrary – he writes – the Paralympic champions offer us an alternative vision of how to deal with a real disability problem. Women and men who have overcome their disabilities, who have been able to break down cultural barriers and show the world their skills! ”. So D’Angelo seems to think, which does not excelto become a champion have no citizenship in the classrooms. “These guys” insists the author of the article “tell us by their example that handicaps can be compensated and overcome with commitment and thus become excellent and superior to the so-called” normal “!”

In other words, an autistic or dyslexic person who does not overcome their difficulties does not apply himself enough, or worse, in some cases they march there, confident that they will be able to get a promotion handed away. The solution for D’Angelo is titanic commitment, not effective individualized and personalized instruction, not the compensatory tools provided by law 170non-evaluation and adequate control, loopholes for incompetents and idlers.

You seem to hear the old, silly saying, “He’s smart, but he doesn’t apply,” which has meant a full school career for many dyslexic students. misunderstandings, suffering, sometimes failures, except for promotions given away! In the face of excellent professors, others, not a few, avoid asking themselves why that student is not learning: it is easier, more comfortable, to believe that he is not studying. Many guys with DSAon the contrary, they spend the whole day hunched over books, and until they have found the proper tools and methods of study, they will not be able to set out to get results commensurate with their efforts. Shifting Perspective Instead, D’Angelo says that teachers very often do nothing to teach their students to use tools and a proper study method, nor do they question their own teaching methods. Like the professors he described with sarcasm Dickens in 1854, two centuries ago, in “troubled times”: those who regard students as vessels into which they can pour their indisputable knowledge. And the drama of the “chicken coop classes” is not enough to justify a dogged indifference to the effects of a mechanical way of transmitting knowledge.

To close, the article could not miss the gem on unjustified spread of diagnoses that grows as the school cycle progresses.

A debate that should be ended once and for all. Are there fake certificates? Whoever writes it must be able to prove it: a doctor or a psychologist who makes false statements commits an offence. In words you can say everything and the opposite of everything. But the evidence? The incidence of SLD in the school world, corresponding to 4.9 per cent, is instead in consistent with DSM 5 estimates (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders) which calculates between 5 and 10 per cent of the population those with a specific learning disability.

The increase in certifications from primary school to upper secondary school is due, as parents well know, to the increased amount of study, the increasingly voluminous books, the higher degree of difficulty of the subjects and the content of the texts. The boys who previously managed with great difficulty to compensate and therefore hide the disturbance, at a certain point can no longer take it.

Board of Directors of the Italian Dyslexia Association

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