State legislature considering dyslexia early screening bill
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state legislature is currently making revisions to a bill that would define dyslexia as a specific learning disability in public schools and require screening for students between kindergarten and second grade.
The bill would also provide educators with the training and tools they would need to support dyslexic students in their classrooms.
The head of Winston Center, which specializes in educating dyslexic and ADHD students, says the changes are much needed in schools.
They have parents bringing in children to their center either as an addition to school or as a substitute, because dyslexic students can often get left behind in classrooms with targeted support.
“These kids often have average or above average IQs,” said Wendy Popa, co-founder of Winston Center. “They are capable of doing lots of great things, they just need the academic support.”
The way Popa sees it, if passed the bill could change the life trajectory for a lot of dyslexic children.
She said as dyslexic children grow up without academic support, they can feel shameful at their academic failures, and can end up in jail or committing suicide. If their diagnosis is caught early in life, the state can prevent those unfortunate outcomes.
She said the bill is also important because it would make resources equally available.
“For the kiddos whose parents don’t have the means for extra help outside of school, the students continue their academic failure and they miss out on the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. We want equality for students,” Popa said.
The bill is currently in executive session and it’s hoped it will be passed during this current session.
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