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Photo of Senator Gayle Slossberg.

STATE SENATOR

Gayle Slossberg

Always On Your Side

Improving Education for Students with Dyslexia

When not properly diagnosed, dyslexia is often mistaken for another learning disability. This results in students with undiagnosed dyslexia being placed in special education classes, where they receive expensive services that they do not need and are not challenged and educated at a level that is appropriate for them. That simple misdiagnosis can be very costly for the school and for the student's education. This week I led the unanimous, final passage of legislation written specifically to fix this problem.

House Bill 7254 requires that special education teachers complete a course of study and have supervised practicum hours in the detection and recognition of students with dyslexia. This will ensure that special education teachers are equipped to identify students in their classrooms that are struggling with dyslexia rather than another learning disability and get them the help they need. This is critical to the education of students with dyslexia, who have been shown to benefit greatly from early identification and intervention.

Senator Slossberg with students.

Dyslexia is defined as a learning disability that affects reading, specifically spelling and word recognition. Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder and is often inconsistent with a student's other cognitive abilities. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of children struggle with this condition.