Mandatory Dyslexia Screening One Step Closer To Reality in Arizona

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 9:27am
Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 9:28am

Legislation to zero in on dyslexia early in a student’s career received unanimous approval from the Arizona House Education Committee on Monday.

The measure would require every child to be screened for dyslexia in kindergarten or first grade. It would also require teachers to be trained to recognize symptoms of the neurological condition that leads to difficulty reading and writing.

 “After treatment I learned how to overcome my dyslexia and become a much better reader. I now read books for pleasure and am reading at a 12th-grade level,” Charlie Livinus, a 12-year-old with dyslexia, told lawmakers during the Monday meeting.

Sharon Hanna, with the Arizona Dyslexic Association, said dyslexia screenings and treatment are expensive.

“Across this state there are hundreds of thousands of students who do not have that type of parent, those are the children that are suffering the most,” she said, also citing a correlation between the inability to read and likelihood of later imprisonment

In 2017 the legislature asked the Arizona Department of Education to create a handbook to educate students, parents and teachers about dyslexia.

This dyslexia screening bill was approved by the state Senate in early March and now heads to the House rules committee.

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