Missouri public school students to get dyslexia screenings | The Charlotte Observer

Missouri public school students to get dyslexia screenings | The Charlotte Observer





Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a bill that requires every student in Missouri public schools to be screened for dyslexia.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/292f23q ) reports that Nixon signed the bill last week. Screenings for the learning disorder, which is characterized by difficulty reading, are to start in the 2018-19 school year. The screenings are meant to be informal and brief.
The bill also says teachers must receive two hours of training on methods to address dyslexia. A 20-member task force will recommend how classroom accommodations should be delivered.
Kim Stuckey, a dyslexia specialist for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says that school officials are going to create better awareness about dyslexia.
In Missouri, parents in the advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia have pushed the Legislature for change to raise the status of dyslexia as a learning disability within public schools.
One of the parents, Kelli Unnerstall, said her son struggled to learn the alphabet, rhyme and associate sounds with letters. She said it was not until the fourth grade when her son was diagnosed with dyslexia when she took him to a neuropsychologist.
According to Unnerstall, the private school her son was attending could not serve him and teachers at a public school would not acknowledge that he had a disability.
"It was like dyslexia was a dirty word in the public school system," Unnerstall said. "I was told things like, 'That's a medical diagnosis, not an educational diagnosis.'"
Unnerstall's son is now in high school and is receiving remediation. She believes her son would be more successful if he had been screened and treated sooner.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/article86457042.html#storylink=cpy

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