Lawmakers push increasing federal resources for dyslexic students

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 8:01 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senator Bill Cassidy, R-LA, said, as the parent of a dyslexic daughter, he understands parent’s pain when their child struggles in school.

“If your child is told that she may never read like everyone else, you know what that means for her future,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy held a roundtable in Washington Tuesday, July 12 with other lawmakers, educators and health experts to discuss

Yale professor Sally Shaywitz said dyslexic students are just as smart as everyone else. Shaywitz said those students just need specific teaching. She hopes more education systems start screening children early before dyslexic students fall farther behind.

“The child goes to school, pretend like you’re a child, ‘Why can’t I do what everybody else is doing?’ And they begin to feel stupid, and then they’re called on to read aloud,” Shaywitz said. “And they can’t. And they’re made fun of.”

Shaywitz cofounded the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. The center found dyslexia affects 20 percent of the population and represents 80-90 percent of learning disorders.

Lawmakers say their biggest obstacle is getting the issue on people’s radar.

“So you have to, one, educate the parents, but you also have to educate legislative leaders,” Cassidy said.

The policy has support from both Democrats and Republicans.

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