Huge thanks to Senators Bill Cassidy and Barbara Mikulski for creating Senate Resolution 275 establishing October as National Dyslexia Awareness Month. The resolution passed unanimously by voice in the Senate on Friday. Dyslexic Advantage is proud to be included among the supporters of this resolution (Decoding Dyslexia, International Dyslexia Association, Learning Ally, Louisiana Key Academy, National Center for Learning Disabilities, the Odyssey School, and Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity).
Exciting for us is that this Senate resolution included strengths in its definition of dyslexia. It is important that strengths be included in formal definitions of dyslexia because it is the only way that students’ strengths will be routinely recognized among dyslexic students, and therefore appropriate education provided. The most common situation is that the intelligence and abilities of dyslexic students are grossly underestimated.
From the Senate Resolution:
We hope the growing consensus about dyslexia will mean from this point going forward, that no child or parent will have to hear from their teacher or school that dyslexia is not recognized.
The entire Senate Resolution:
Calling on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize the significant educational implications of dyslexia that must be addressed and designating October 2015 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.
Whereas dyslexia is—
(1) defined as an unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader; and
(2) due to a difficulty in getting to the individual sounds of spoken language, which affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, spell, and often, learn a language;
Whereas dyslexia is the most common learning disability and affects 80 percent to 90 percent of all individuals with a learning disability;
Whereas an individual with dyslexia may have weakness in decoding or reading fluency and strength in higher level cognitive functions, such as reasoning, critical thinking, concept formation, or problem solving;
Whereas great progress has been made in understanding dyslexia on a scientific level, including the epidemiology and cognitive and neurobiological bases of dyslexia; and
Whereas early diagnosis of dyslexia is critical for ensuring that individuals with dyslexia receive focused, evidence-based intervention that leads to the promotion of self-awareness and self-empowerment and the provision of necessary accommodations so as to ensure school and life success: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) calls on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications that must be addressed; and
(2) designates October 2015 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.