Learning

A new bill has been proposed which may drastically change how soon children with dyslexia get attention.

The law extends to include those teachers focused on special education and early childhood education to get specialized training in the disease.

“It has been an unbelievable battle for five years,” said state representative Noreen Kokoruda of Madison, who is a strong proponent for the bill. “Over the last five years we have finally gotten dyslexia and the option to choose it as a disability on the list”.

Previously, when parents of children with dyslexia went into school to set up an IEP (Individualized Education Program), the option to check off the box with dyslexia was not available.

Dyslexia is a disease that needs advanced treatment and advanced learning, and for many, the earlier that treatment, the better.

“Let us not wait until they are in 7th and 8th grade,” said Kokoruda. “How can we identify these issues early?”

Studies show the achievement gap begins when children are as young as preschool. Dr. Sally Shaywitz, the co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, has dedicated her career to helping children and adults with dyslexia.

“If you can get to a dyslexic reader early enough, you can not only make him or her a better reader, you can change the brain as well,” she said.  Shaywitz has written over 200 scientific articles over the course of her career, many of which involve teachers who have students with the disease. “A teacher can do what a neurosurgeon cannot do, and that is change the brain”.

If the bill were to pass, beginning in July of 2018 those teachers seeking a special education endorsement or an early childhood endorsement, must complete a program of study in the diagnosis and remediation of dyslexia.

Moving forward, dyslexia now holds the same meaning found in the State Department of Education’s guidance manual for individualized education programs under special education law.    

(17) comments

Guest

My comment is not meant to downplay the severity of this condition by no means, but as a middle aged personal not quite over the hill just yet, I don't remember children when I attended school having so many problems as the children do now. With the peanut allergies, autism, bipolar, dyslexia, hyperactivity and others it just seems that these conditions must have existed but were never addressed as much as they are now. I do think physicians and educators are quick to make a diagnosis of a child these days without advanced testing and then that child is medicated and placed in special educational classes when they should not be.

Guest

I'm a middle aged dyslexic person. I didn't see as a disease but as a gift.
I have had the most successful career.
Nobody put the label on me until I was 45 yrs old.
And I have only recently looked up on
google, and was very pleased to read about my attributes.
I had a teacher in year 10 who coached me in English.
I used to listen in class at what others had read in
"David Copperfield" and then write.
I didn't read a book until I was 35.

I have been very creative in my career, and believe that I have been a mathematician
Business person.

So it is not a disease.

Rosue

Guest

You are obviously uninformed. The seeming increase is because research has led to a better understanding of these conditions, as you put it and how to help people that have them. When you were in school kids were probably just labeled as "lazy" and "not living up to their potential. There is not an overdiagnosis in schools, in fact it is hard to get an IEP and many kids are not getting the help they need because they aren't "failing bad enough". Studies show that dyslexia effects 1 in every 5 people (that's 20% of the population). This bill would be amazing because students could finally get the correct kind of support and teaching in schools and stay in the general ed. classroom more. The only thing I take exception to in this acrticle is referring dyslexia as a disease. You don't catch it, you are born with it. It can't be cured it, but with proper teaching it can be overcome and people with it can and have been incredibly successful.

Guest

Well, with all due respect, you apparently know nothing of this brain disorder. Dyslexia can not be treated with medication. Your comment made me feel (and cry) just as I did when I realized my 10year old daughter could not read nor write but was making all A's in school. Our school system doesn't recognize dyslexia as it should! FYI dyslexia is a language based neurological disorder. Meaning it can affect ANY portion of language. Reading, writing, speech. Shame on you! I pray non of your grandchildren are ever diagnosed with severe dyslexia. It is painful to watch a child WANT to do something but their BRAIN doesn't cooperate. A pediatrician can't find or diagnose dyslexia. And it takes trained individuals to help teach a dyslexic.

Guest

Dyslexic children should not be placed in special education classes.Their self esteem is low enough and they need encouragement and help.They normally have very high IQ's.They can comprehend if their lessons are read to them,their audio comprehension is not affected,it is a visual problem.Albert Einstein was dyslexic.

Guest

It depends, back in Africa it has to be that way...Special needs coz not many even know what it is. In normal schools, they are sidelined, abandoned and their self esteem drops very low....Takes an involved parent like me to support my dyslexic kids.

Guest

Agreed!

Guest

You are correct, dyslexics have average or higher intellect. However, it's not a visual issue. They see words exactly the same as non'dyslexics. It's a neurological and processing issue. While audiobooks and such can help a student keep up in school, they also need proper teaching using the Orton-Gillingham Approach. If this bill can help get teachers the training they need to teach O-G in special ed classrooms then the student could get the help they need to work at or above their grade level and edventually graduate out of special ed. If all teachers could be trained in O-G and use it in general ed. classrooms as part of their cirriculum, then dyslexic students may never need special ed. in the first place. Early diagnosis and intervention is the key.

Guest

Disease? Ouch, that is harsh. It's bad enough we call it a "learning disability" when dyslexics are not actually "incapable" of reading. With the right training, they can learn with ease and become very successful. Poor choice of word on the author's part.

Guest

Agree. My husband and both kids have dyslexia. I actually cringed when I read 'disease.'

Guest

Disease is not the correct term at all. Dyslexia is just a brain with a different structure. There is no disease in dyslexia. But the law is needed never the less!!! HORRAYYYYY!

Guest

Wow,Awesome! i wish that was the case in Kenya, Africa. Children here suffer a lot with dyslexia because teachers do not even understand it, let alone training. I have to work hard for my 2 boys. Kidos to you there!

Guest

First off dyslexia is not a disease. The writer needs to check their facts. Good Grief.
Second, a student with dyslexia needs a specialized program to help them. Most Special ed classrooms will be of no use to them. Students with dyslexia are very bright and have high IQs. They don't belong on a special ed classroom.

Guest

It's not disease or a disability. It's a need for teaching dyslexic people the right way. Most public school teachers don't know or understand dyslexia. It's great we have specialized out there who help kids if you can afford it. How does a middle class family or below afford to send their kid or kids to these places? The annual tuition runs from 20k to 60k annually.

Guest

They must get new funding for this addition and what does Africa have to do with our school system ?

Guest

Dyslexia is NOT a disease! PLEASE update this article so it doesn't state dyslexia is a disease. This is how bad information keeps getting passed on.

annamiller

Well, maybe dyslexia is not disease but students, who suffer from it, should receive special approach I think. Teahcers should pay particular attention to their academic success and help if they can't cope with something. I even recommend such pupils to consider using online essay writer for UK student! It's the best way to facilitate academic process and give them a chance to enjoy their life! Am I wrong??

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