Tuesday, March 3, 2009

HB 409 on early dyslexia screenings

House Bill 409, if enacted, will require students to be screened for dyslexia before they enter first grade. Lois Weinberg is a Prichard Committee member and a longtime advocate for needed steps to help all children become readers. She explains the bill this way:
This is one more tool for the Response to Intervention tool box of teachers, that these children already are being pulled out in Title I programs, ESS, and Special Ed, they just aren't getting the specific instruction they should get if they were properly identified as dyslexic. The money is already being spent, this would target a particular population with guidance as to what evidenced based researched programs would effectively remediate or instruct them BEFORE they fail in first grade and we begin the years of struggling for students and teachers. These students learn differently and the evidence is in as to the structured, multisensory, phonetic, linguistic programs that can activate the ... part of their brains that need to be activated.
The Prichard Committee is supporting this bill as a good step forward in helping all students succeed.


  1. Lois, can you provide more information about the following phrase in the bill:
    "..shall be screened for dyslexia according to administrative regulations adopted by the Kentucky Board of Education;..."

    How exactly are kindergartners going to be screened? Are these administrative regulationa already in existence or will they have to be written once the bill has passed? Thanks

  2. The Prichard Committee is to be commended for supporting HB 409! As a 59-year old adult dyslexic, I know what it's like to sit petrified in a classroom, fearing that the teacher would call on me to read, or worse yet, to come to the board and write an answer. I had to study harder and longer than other students, and never knew why until four years ago when I went to CA for
    Susan Barton's 48-hour Diagnosing Dyslexia course. When she reviewed the Warning Signs of Dyslexia & AD/HD, and discussed dysgraphia, I finally knew why I had struggled so much, particularly in college. My (self) diagnosis was moderate to severe dyslexia, severe dysgraphia, and AD/HD with major elements of inattention and impulsivity. What a relief! I finally learned that I wasn't "dumb"...I was just dyslexic! I now see dyslexia as my "gift." From it, I learned perseverance and tenacity, especially during my four years of college, earning a B.S. degree in education and then two subsequent Master's degrees in education. Now my life mission is helping parents face the possibility of their child's dyslexia, testing the child in order to provide the proper diagnosis, and then sharing the Orton-Gillingham based remediation that will bring their "bright" child up to grade level or beyond. Please continue your "fight" for this bill on behalf of the students in Kentucky, 15-20% of whom will be dyslexic somewhere along the spectrum of mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Sincerely, Brenda Embry

  3. A great idea. One would hope that President Obama's budget would allow for payment and assist with implementing the program. It is about time that folks realize that is a kid is the back of the room acting out, it may be a reading problem, and the kid quit, because the system quit him.


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