You may know someone with dyslexia. It’s one of the most common learning disabilities. But, the way Indiana handles early detection may be a model for the country. Congressman Larry Bucshon, a medical doctor, talked about his daughter and the Indiana law that makes sure kids are tested in a roundtable discussion hosted by another medical doctor in Congress, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
Bucshon, Cassidy and others are pushing for the passage in the Senate of the 21st Century Dyslexia Act, which would reclassify dyslexia as a stand-alone disability within the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act, which would help make sure children with dyslexia are properly accommodated.
“Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities in the United States. However as the father of a child with dyslexia, my daughter Blair, I know how difficult it can be to detect and treat dyslexia,” said Bucshon.
When Blair couldn’t learn to read in first grade, Bucshon said the school suggested that she just wasn’t as smart as her brothers, who had learned to read prior to being in school. Unwilling to accept that explanation, Bucshon said he and his wife had her tested and she was diagnosed first with a reading disability and later dyslexia.
“It liberated her because she is not understanding, how come I’m different and how come I’m struggling?” said the Congressman, who got emotional when talking about his daughter.
Her diagnosis led to her being given extra time on her tests and other accommodations. Blair later got a degree from Cornell in computer science.
“It’s imperative we detect dyslexia early, as early as possible and priovide children and families we the tools they need to succeed,” said Bucshon, as part of the roundtable. He spoke of the Indiana law that requires testing for kids in third grade, put together by Bucshon, when a member of the state legislature, and state Sen. Erin Houchin, whose son is dyslexic.
Bucshon said the federal legislation would ensure people with dyslexia better treatment so they can get through the barriers that dyslexia creates and avoid a life that does not allow them to live up to their potential.
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