MO schools to require dyslexia screening beginning in 2018-19

MO schools to require dyslexia screening beginning in 2018-19

(KFVS) - The future of Missouri public schools will require screening for a disorder that easily goes unnoticed.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, Missouri schools will be required to screen students for dyslexia.

"One of the reasons we're beginning to screen for dyslexia is it's a disorder that often is not diagnosed through a normal special education process," Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Southeast Missouri State University's Dean College of Education said.

According to the bill, "dyslexia screening" will be a short test conducted by a teacher or school counselor to determine whether a student likely has dyslexia or a related disorder. It will not represent a medical diagnosis but indicates that the student could benefit from support.

The Dyslexia Center of Utah said 70 to 80 percent of people with poor reading skills are likely dyslexic.

"Screening helps these children who might be struggling readers be able to get some assistance and support earlier, rather than fall behind, in terms of their reading skills," Rogers-Adkinson said.

She said the law will make sure that higher education, like Southeast Missouri State University, will include training on dyslexia.

"This will be new, the law does mandate that higher education makes sure that we integrate this into our pre-teachers training," Rogers-Adkinson said.

"So, the average teacher who starts graduating over the next year or two they'll have this as part of their base knowledge," she said. "The state will also be making sure that all practicing teachers get updated on how to better support these students."

Rogers-Adkinson said she thinks lawmakers pushed the for the bill because of parent concern.

"It's from a real grassroots, parents-level effort," she said. "So parents had children, that had dyslexia, and were not being served in the schools, and really lobbied to get this bill passed, because their children's needs were not being met in the state and from their opinion. So that's really what brought this forward and these types of bills have been passed a lot nationally. It's kind of a new wave of legislation from a parent advocacy perspective."

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