Ohio Bill Would Add Dyslexia To Mandatory Screenings

By: Shannon Houser
By: Shannon Houser

In an Ohio Bill, a new disability is being added to a list of others for mandatory screening.

"When our kids come into elementary school, we do a lot of reading instruction with them. When they're not progressing at the rate that they need to be, we do some assessments on top of the other assessments that we are already doing with all the kids," Belpre City Schools Superintendent Tony Dunn says.

Add to the list of those assessments, screening for dyslexia. It's part of a new Ohio Bill hoping to change the way educators define and diagnose the reading disability.

"Categorizing it as a neurological disorder that is heredity, runs in families. It is the inability to process language like most people can."

But what most people don't know is that dyslexia isn't just about reading and writing.
"We've used the word dyslexia for a long time and when most people hear the word, 'dyslexia' they think about reading things backwards. The definition the legislature has adopted has nothing to do with reading things backwards. It's all about the developmental piece when it comes to reading skills."

The bill sets up three pilot schools. Studies there will determine the causes of dyslexia and ways to help students who suffer from the disability.

"From those pilot studies, hopefully we'll get some type of data that will help us deal with the intervention pieces that go with trying to help kids with dyslexia."

But will it be successful? Belpre City Schools says if it is, it will be a very useful tool for teachers.

"If they come up with a screening for dyslexia and it's a useful one and it's easily administered, we'll jump on board with that very quickly."

For more information on the bill, click on the hot button.

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