If you or someone you know is dyslexic, you know the frustrations of having to work so hard just to make sense of every day words. And it’s especially difficult for a child, who frequently doesn’t understand why learning comes so hard. Today, there is good news, at the Ohio House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by State Rep. Ted Celeste (D-Grandview Heights) to deal with the problem of dyslexia in young people. Amended House Bill 96 includes clarifying the definition of learning disabilities in the Ohio Revised Code to specifically include dyslexia. The vote was a bipartisan 93-1, and it now goes to the Senate.
The legislation also creates a pilot project at the Ohio Department of Education including one urban, one suburban, and one rural school district to forge a partnership with the local library system to provide early screening and intervention services for children. Existing funds within the Ohio Department of Education will be used to pay for these screenings, and the inclusion of libraries will help ease the financial burden on school districts.
Here is some of what Rep. Celeste said about the bill during debate on the floor:
“Many times the proper diagnosis of dyslexia is what holds students back from receiving the kind of educational instruction most appropriate for their individual situations. Often times a student may fall through the cracks in which he or she is not ‘behind far enough’ to qualify for special educational services. House Bill 96 directly addresses that issue by allowing for easier research-based intervention. We should never sit by as we watch our children struggle to read and write.”
By identifying dyslexia early on in the course of learning to read, we will prevent children from falling significantly behind in decoding, reading fluency, spelling, and writing, let alone avoiding the heartache, self-esteem damage, and expense to the family and schools involved.”
Click here if you want to see Rep. Celeste’s speech on the bill. My favorite part is where he can’t mind his p’s and q’s.