Identify Students with Dyslexia Early, and Use Proven Strategies to Teach Them
States, schools can help more children learn to read well
Dyslexia affects at least one in 10 people. But only 5 percent of them are identified so that schools can help them learn to overcome their difficulties with reading and writing.
A new policy brief from the Southern Regional Education Board urges states and schools to identify students with dyslexia and intervene early to help more children meet reading benchmarks.
Dyslexia Policies in SREB States: Addressing the Needs of Struggling Young Readers documents the scope of the challenge — and what works to help children with dyslexia learn to read well. It also examines how schools may misunderstand dyslexia or be reluctant to identify it by name, which means students may not get the services they need.
Schools must identify students with dyslexia early and use specialized instructional methods to help them.
The brief analyzes current dyslexia policies in the 16 states in the SREB region. States can help more children with dyslexia learn to read proficiently with policies that:
- Require schools to screen all young children with valid instruments
- Equip educators to recognize dyslexia through teacher preparation and training
- Help districts and schools find and fund training on proven approaches
- Encourage schools to provide special education services for students with severe dyslexia
“If states identify more students who face the challenges of dyslexia and provide effective early interventions, they should be able to reduce the number of students who read below grade-level expectations,” said SREB Policy Analyst Samantha Durrance, author of the brief. “And this means a greater proportion of all students will be prepared for success in fourth grade and beyond.”