House Bill would help students and families better deal with dyslexia

12/11/2017 05:38 PM

FRANKFORT – How to better address the needs of students with dyslexia is the goal of the Ready to Read Dyslexia RTI bill, which will be introduced during the upcoming 2018 legislative session.

The bill, is sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, who told members of the Interim Joint on Education on Monday that some of the bill mirrors legislation which she has sponsored in the past on the subject, but it also adds several new pieces in the area of teaching and attracting new teachers to effectively deal with students who have the condition.

“It educates the need to address awareness and prepare teachers who are currently teaching, then on the postsecondary side, we need to be forming those new teachers,” Wuchner said.

Dyslexia affects 1 in 5 Kentuckians and Wuchner said early awareness and effective treatment is the difference between a person excelling in life and one not coming close to reaching their full potential.

“That’s somewhere between a one hundred and one hundred and twenty thousand of Kentucky students here,” Wuchner said. “We want every child to have the ability to succeed and become the excellent version of themselves that was intended. These children are bright, we call them doubly gifted.”

Council on Postsecondary Education Executive Vice President Aaron Thompson, says that he knows, first hand, there is a ways to go in effectively dealing with dyslexia in the commonwealth.

“My daughter is dyslexic,” Thompson said. “We first though she was lazy, she didn’t want to do this, she didn’t want to do that, she would feel exhausted after just a little while of reading, and we did some research, and we talked to our local school districts, as well a higher education, and we found out that we didn’t have a lot of information.”

Boone County resident Phyllis Sparks, a founding member of the Kentucky branch of the International Dyslexia Association, has a 21-year-old son who was diagnosed in the fifth grade with severe dyslexia.

Sparks told committee members about how frustrating it can be for those who are dyslexic, which has proven to be hereditary.

“Imagine being 11, 12 years old, sitting in a classroom, and everyone around you understands what is happening in that environment except you,” Sparks said. “We have to find a way to put these programs in place, help these children learn to read so they can teach their children to read, and so on, and so on.”

Wuchner feels that her bill has a good chance in 2018 and will help countless Kentuckians who have dyslexia as well as their family members.


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