Wisconsin Senate passes first-ever Dyslexia bill

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 5:21 PM CST
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The Wisconsin State Senate has passed its first-ever Wisconsin Dyslexia bill.

The bill would create a statewide dyslexia guidebook for teachers and families with information on how to identify, assess, and help students with Dyslexia, something all schools in Wisconsin have gone without.

Statistics show up to 43.5 million children and adults have Dyslexia. It's a learning disability that makes it difficult to read, write, and spell, no matter how hard the person tries, or how intelligent he or she is.

State advocates fighting for this legislation say one in five students have Dyslexia or reading struggles and it can often be misdiagnosed.

The Children's Dyslexia Center says it is not the result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, or inadequate instruction, but it may occur together with these conditions.

The guidebook will allow them to put resources and information right into the hands of those impacted by dyslexia.

“Our hope is by having this guide book, it will arm teachers with a clear definition of what dyslexia is - what characteristics to look for in a typical developing child as well as what interventions can be put into place,” said Dr. Tammy Tillotson, Children’s Dyslexia Center of Upper Wisconsin director.

Tillotson said the key is to identify what exists in the state of Wisconsin that can support families and educators in better being able to teach kids to read, write and spell.

“There are a lot of really wonderful school districts that are taking steps to struggling readers,” she said. “It comes back to teaching teachers the science of reading.”

The bill for a guidebook is one of several. This week there are hearings on a bill to hire Dyslexia specialists in every region of the state and another to have testing available to help identify dyslexic students.

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