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House to Consider Dyslexia Bills

The Rhode Island Dyslexia Act would establish new policies and practices for the treatment of students with dyslexia in Rhode Island Schools. One local mother is rallying support for it and other bills addressing the needs of students with dyslexia.

Parents and advocates for children with dyslexia are lobbying the General Assembly for passage of two bill they say will improve services for dyslexic students in Rhode Island.

One bill would establish new policies and practices for the treatment of students with dyslexia in Rhode Island Schools.

The other would establish a legislative study commission that will study the implication of dyslexia and come up with a list of "recommendations for the House of Representatives on the educational needs of children with reading disabilities and dyslexia and all aspects of providing education to these children."

The legislation will be presented at the Health and Education Subcommittee meeting Feb. 28 and is backed by the state branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

Parent Suzanne Arena has been rallying support for the legislation and has been encouraging professionals, educators, parents and students to write statements of support and send them to lawmakers.

"This is a great first opportunity for the community to stand together and make our collective voices heard about our expectations for statewide policy and services around dyslexia," Arena said.

She hopes to get 200 statements of support.

Rob T February 28, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Like I said, it's not perfect but considering there are about 350 kids who attend Glen Hills. With less than 1% of the 21% leaving I would say they are doing quite well. Three kids leaving out of 350 tells you they are doing some great things at that school.
Suzanne Arena February 28, 2012 at 04:46 PM
@ Rob T. "Three kids leaving out of 350 tells you they are doing some great things at that school." - Sorry, but think of it this way....there are 3 cancer patients and most get the chemo they need...but they leave 3 without and damaged to survive on their own. Is this right? If this was your child, would you accept this? This is not a pissing contest about Glen Hills. Let's remember the focus. It's about Schools in Rhode Island, specifically Cranston that are not being forthcoming and counting on parents to take the deal on the table....such as "well, we are not going to give your child the 504 yet, BUT we are going to give your child everything like they would have a 504 with accommodations". Most parents do just that, time passes, the child's gap in MOST cases has deteriorated and now the parent is in a battle to get what they need for their child. The schools bank on the fact that MOST parents will only fight so far. I have met many of the ones who persevere. The cost to the families is not just felt in money, and it's a great disservice to all. There is PROVEN science-based curriculum to teach children with dyslexia - so WHY wouldn't you provide such services. I'm sure Einstein, Walt Disney and many others could attest that under FAPE it should be a free education to teach all. It is approximately 10% of the children learn differently. PBS and Nova have aired several special shows on this to educate the public.
Maryanne Hunt February 28, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I AM 100% IN AGREEMENT. I HAVE 10 YEAR OLD TWINS AT E.T. WYMAN SCHOOL IN WARWICK AND HAVE EXPERIENCED EXACTLY THE SAME FEELINGS AND PROBLEMS THAT YOU WRITE ABOUT. I AM STILL BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL DURING IEP MEETINGS; WE NEED CERTIFIED ORTON GILLINGHAM INSTRUCTORS IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM NOW. WHY IS THIS SOOO DIFFICULT FOR THE SPECIAL EDUCATORS TO UNDERSTAND??? PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW I CAN HELP.
Suzanne Arena February 28, 2012 at 06:19 PM
@ MaryAnne, et al. My telephone is 440-2579. I am also on FaceBook. @ Rob, et al, do note I validate commentary like yours that hides behind a curtain. I'm on the table and tired of the lies and derailing. This is about integrity, ethics and an education to ALL children.
Suzanne Arena March 28, 2012 at 05:20 PM
ACT NOW: The establishment of a US Congressional Dyslexia Caucus: ANNOUNCEMNENT FROM DR. SALLY SHAYWITZ: It is very important that parents in every state contact their US Congressional Representative NOW and encourage them to join the caucus by contacting Rep. Peter Stark (D-CA) and/or Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). Please take action now. By supporting a discussion about dyslexia at the national level, we have a better chance of increasing resources and accountability at the state level. Dyslexia is real and US Public Schools are moving too slow to address it properly. Congressional Dyslexia Caucus Date Approved: 1/18/2012 Chair(s): Rep. Bill Cassidy; Rep. Pete Stark Staff Contact Information: David Pulliam (Cassidy) 202.225.3901, david.pulliam@mail.house.g​ov Jeff Hild (Stark) 202.225.5065, jeff.hild@mail.house.gov Please send your letters of support to your rep through this website: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

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