Urgent Legislative Update – SB949

Senate Bill 949 (SB949) has received Senate approval and will be heard this Monday, May 14 at 2 pm by the House Rules Committee in House Hearing Room 1.  Please take a moment to review SB949 here, which establishes appropriate reading interventions for students K-3 with dyslexia and reading difficulties., and then take action by letting Committee members know we need their support!

Let’s show our Representatives that this bill really matters to You and Your kids!   Please contact the following members of the House Rules Committee to respectfully request the Committee members to support SB 949 (before Monday at 2 pm):
Rep. Joe Runions – 573-751-0238; Joe.Runions@house.mo.gov
Rep. John Carpenter – 573-751-4787; Jon.Carpenter@house.mo.gov
Rep. Sarah Unsicker – 573-751-1285; Sarah.Unsicker@house.mo.gov
Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr – 573-751-2383; Bruce.Franks@house.mo.gov

Personal examples of your child’s struggles and when he or she has succeeded with the right kind of help will make your story, letter or email more compelling, but don’t make it too long.  (See sample letter below for ideas.)

Please let your representative know how crucial appropriate reading instruction is for dyslexic children and how this legislation would positively influence all children struggling with literacy in public schools.

We cannot over-emphasize how important your calls/emails will be in the forward movement of this bill and future passage.

Please take a moment today to show your support for appropriate interventions for students with dyslexia!

____________________________________________________
Sample letter:

Dear Representative __________,

I am writing today to ask for your support of SB949 that will be heard in the House Rules Committee on Monday at 2 pm.  This bill will require schools to provide the scientifically evidenced-based reading programs that help children with dyslexia learn to read.

My child has struggled…(include a short personal story).

That is why I feel that not only my child but every child who struggles with dyslexia would benefit with the passage of SB949.  I respectfully ask for your support of this bill!

Sincerely,

MO Dyslexia Law and Dyslexia Task Force Recommendations

MO Dyslexia Law Addresses Screening, Classroom Support, Teacher Training, & Establishes the Dyslexia Task Force.  Task Force issues guidance in October of 2017.  DDMO helps secure funding for Dyslexia Specialist and Dyslexia Professional Development

Thanks to the hard work of our members, Decoding Dyslexia-MO was successful in getting a screening, professional development, and accommodations bill passed.  Governor Nixon signed House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638 on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2pm in Springfield at the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Head Start location.

This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and to develop the necessary *classroom support for such students by December 31, 2017.  Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each public school including charter schools, shall conduct dyslexia screenings and provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Additionally, practicing teacher assistance programs shall include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorder provided by each school district for all practicing teachers.  Such training shall count as two contact hours of professional development.

 

This act also created the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force was required to advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies.  The Task Force consisted of twenty members, as described in the act.   The Task Force published their recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia.  The Task Force recommendations were published in October of 2017: Task Force Recommendations.

In addition to working on this bill, DDMO members secured funding in the legislature for the Dyslexia Specialist position in the MO Dept. of Education.  Kim Stuckey was hired as MO’s Dyslexia Specialist and she has established several initiatives in her position including professional development programs and a dyslexia webpage on the MO Dept. of Education’s website (MO Dept. of Ed Dyslexia webpage).  DDMO also worked with the legislature and the Governor’s office to secure $250,000 for dyslexia professional development in MO.  A large portion of this money is being allocated to dyslexia training programs at the Regional Professional Development Centers through the State.

And NOW we are working on a bill that would create a “Reading Success Plan” (SB949) for any child reading below grade level.  The “Reading Success Plan” would require intensive instruction in methods approved by the National Reading Panel and the International Dyslexia Association.

These are tremendous steps forward for public school students in MO!

*support is defined as “low-cost and effective best practices, such as oral examinations and extended test-taking periods, used to support students who have dyslexia or any related disorder”.

Enjoy the Step Up For Dyslexia 2017 Video

Thanks to everyone that joined us in 2017 for Step Up For Dyslexia.  Please enjoy this video with highlights from the day.  Be sure to mark your calendars for Sept 30, 2018 because we will be hosting Step Up For Dyslexia at Queeny Park again!  Please get in touch with us if you would like to help plan next year’s event or if you would like to bring Step Up For Dyslexia to your city.  You can reach us at info@decodingdyslexia-mo.org.

We already have plans underway to host an educational event this spring  that will help prepare parents and educators to be ready for the screening requirements that will roll out in fall of 2018.  Funds raised at Step Up For Dyslexia will be used to help keep this event affordable.  Stay tuned to our site for more detail.

Eyecandy Imaging is the official photographer of Step Up For Dyslexia.  You can view and order pictures:  Step Up For Dyslexia Pictures (enter YOUR email address and the password stepup2017)

Registration Open for DDMO Dyslexia Conference

Join us Friday, October 20, 2017,  for a conference entitled “Establishing Resilience in Youth with Dyslexia” presented by Decoding Dyslexia Missouri in conjunction with Burrell Behavioral Health in Springfield, MO.   This daylong event of expert advice will address the identification and treatment of dyslexia where we explore not only how to strengthen early identification, treatment, and resources; but also how to focus on building strengths and resilience.

Our national experts will provide information designed to guide the assessment of dyslexia and reading disorders, explore technology supports, as well as provide expert advice on building resilience in youth struggling with dyslexia.  Parents of Dyslexic students will benefit from the information and strategies discussed, as the conference will provide an enhanced understanding of current trends and advocacy for their children.

Registration is $39 for teachers and professionals, $29 for Students or Parents of a dyslexic child.  Seating is limited, so register early here to attend.  Traveling from out of town?  We have special room rates for the conference.  Please see details on the registration page.

Featured Presentations  

Dyslexia:  An Overview, Interventions, and Building Resilience

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Kelli Sandman-Hurley, EdD

Dr. Sandman-Hurley, author of “The Dyslexia Advocate” and co-founder of The Dyslexia Training Institute,  will be providing an overview of what dyslexia is, and what it is not.   Dyslexia is not a gift.  It just isn’t.  Students with dyslexia are not going to be successful, creative geniuses because they are dyslexic.  They are going to be successful, creative geniuses because they are resilient, have support from community and family, are smart, and like the rest of us found something they love.   The books written about those who are uber successful have super-supportive families or someone in their life who took an interest.  You may be that person.   Throughout the day Dr. Sandman-Hurley will describe what dyslexia is – from symptoms to challenges, to interventions, and finally to building the characteristics that lead to resilience.  She will also provide an introduction to teaching the structure of the English language.

Technology for Students with Dyslexia

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John Effinger, MS, CCC-SLP

This session will discuss technology accommodations for students with Dyslexia in the classroom. Alternative text access for reading and writing will be discussed including alternative educational materials (AEM) for students not on an IEP.  In addition, we will discuss computers and tablets that can be used with software and apps to increase access to text and increase written production.

Self Advocacy for the Dyslexic Student

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A. Noel Leif, CALT/ICALP

This session will discuss the importance of teaching and encouraging children to have the ability to self-advocate in the classroom setting.  Children need to know how to tell their story effectively and communicate their strengths as well as their challenges and how to ask for what they need to succeed from educators.

 

 

 

Step Up For Dyslexia Awareness Walk Sept 23

Join Decoding Dyslexia-MO For A Picnic And Awareness Walk
Sponsored by
Speech Language Learning Systems in St. Louis

Decoding Dyslexia Missouri is a grassroots parent-led movement with a three-pronged
mission to educate, advocate and legislate on behalf of those with
dyslexia. We are focused on linking families to resources, support, and
educational interventions for dyslexia. Our goal is to raise dyslexia awareness,
empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best
practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in Missouri.

With your support, this event will rally families, friends and supporters of
DDMO as we work together to achieve our mission and create change for
children and adults with dyslexia in our community. All proceeds will be used to support parent and teacher education programs and to help our members continue their work in the legislature.

September 23rd, 2018 at 12pm in St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, and Springfield

1.  Saint Louis, MO- Queeny Park Corporate Pavilion
Sign Up Here (you can sign up as an individual or form a team):
https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/SaintLouis/StepUpforDyslexia

12pm Registration and Picnic (bring a picnic lunch)
1:15pm Welcome
1:30pm Race Begins
2:30 Greet Louie from the St. Louis Blues

Lots of fun activities are planned for the day of the event.  Think Fall Festival!  You can enjoy the following:

  • Music
  • Bounce Houses
  • Bubble Bus
  • hay rides
  • Food Trucks (lunch and dessert)
  • Face Painting
  • Fun Photo Booth
  • Fishing
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Horseshoes
  • And More!!!!

Senator Sifton will share information about legislation and will read a Proclamation about dyslexia issued by Governor Parson.

Enjoy last year’s pictures and video!!

2.  Cape Girardeau, MO- Capaha Park
Sign Up Here (you can sign up as an individual or form a team):
https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/CapeGirardeau/StepUpforDyslexiaCapeGirardeau?remMeAttempt=

12pm Registration and Picnic (bring a picnic lunch or enjoy a meal from a food truck)
1:15pm Welcome
1:30pm Race Begins

Lots of fun activities are planned for the day of the event.  Think Fall Festival!  You can enjoy the following:

  • Music
  • Bounce House
  • Food Truck (Straight Line Swine & Andy’s Sweet Tooth!)
  • Music from K103
  • Face Painting
  • Fun Photo Booth
  • Balloon Artist
  • Playground
  • Fishing
  • Feed the ducks
  • And More!!!!

Representative Kathy Swan will share information about legislation and will read a Proclamation about dyslexia issued by Governor Parson.

3. Springfield, MO-  Rutledge Wilson Farm Park
Sign Up Here (you can sign up as an individual or form a team):

https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/Springfield/StepUpforDyslexiaSpringfieldMO?remMeAttempt=

12pm Registration and Picnic (bring a picnic lunch or enjoy a meal from a food truck)
1:15pm Welcome
1:30pm Race Begins

Lots of fun activities are planned for the day of the event.  Think Fall Festival!  You can enjoy the following:

  • Music
  • Bounce House
  • Face Painting
  • Playground
  • Fishing
  • And More!!!!

3. Kansas City, MO-  La Benite Riverfront Park
Sign Up Here (you can sign up as an individual or form a team):

https://runsignup.com/Race/MO/SugarCreek/StepUpforDyslexiaKansasCity

12pm Registration and Picnic (bring a picnic lunch or enjoy a meal from a food truck)
1:15pm Welcome
1:30pm Race Begins

Legislation Enacts Task Force on Dyslexia

Governor Jay Nixon signed HB 2379 in Springfield Missouri on June 22, 2016, effectively creating the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force will advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, as described in the act.

The Task Force will consist of twenty one members, as described in the act.  Except for four legislative members and the Commissioner of Education, the members will be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Names were submitted from across the State from stakeholders and state agencies for review by the Missouri legislature for appointments.  The Senate released their list on August 31st and the House on September 7, which named the panel for the Task Force.  Below is a list of appointments.

task-force-list

Thanks to all of the DD-MO members that made passing HB2379 possible!  Your hard work is beginning to pay off!!

Reading Research

The American Academy of Pediatrics: Section on Ophthalmology and Council on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists published a Joint Policy Statement in August, 2009:

ABSTRACT

dyslexia readingLearning disabilities, including reading disabilities, are commonly diagnosed in children. Their etiologies are multifactorial, reflecting genetic influences and dysfunction of brain systems. Learning disabilities are complex problems that require complex solutions. Early recognition and referral to qualified educational professionals for evidence-based evaluations and treatments seem necessary to achieve the best possible outcome. Most experts believe that dyslexia is a language-based disorder. Vision problems can interfere with the process of learning; however, vision problems are not the cause of primary dyslexia or learning disabilities. Scientific evidence does not support the efficacy of eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses for improving the long-term educational performance in these complex pediatric neurocognitive conditions. Diagnostic and treatment approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy, including eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses, are not endorsed and should not be recommended.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) developed the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading which outlines the requirements needed to become certified in Structured Literacy.  There are 2 paths for certification:

  1. university programs accredited by the IDA, and
  2. independent teacher training programs accredited by the IDA.
Background and History on the “Reading Wars”
 National Reading Panel
Literate Nation
 Reading Recovery
By Louisa Moats

 

Dyslexia and the New Science of Reading: this article appeared in Newsweek in November 1999 yet is still very relevant today.

Sherman on Brain Research and Reading

NCLD’s Reading Comprehension Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities

Wrightslaw The Best Kept Secret in Special Education

Wrightslaw Fifth grader is reading at 2.7 grade level. Should he be tested for Special Ed?

Lighting the Way: The Reading Panel Report Ought to Guide Teacher Preparation

Don’t “Dys” Our Kids:  Dyslexia and the Quest for Grade Level Reading

Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and Reading Fluency: Implications for Understanding and Treatment of Reading Disabilities by Elizabeth S. Norton and Maryanne Wolf

 Effectiveness of Treatment Approaches for Children and Adolescents with Reading Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

The Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies

 

Governor Nixon Signed Dyslexia Legislation

It is official!  Governor Nixon signed House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638 on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2pm in Springfield at the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Head Start location at 552 N Stewart Avenue, Springfield, MO.   There was a celebratory reception at 3:30pm hosted by the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning located at 100 East Primrose St., Suite 530, Springfield, MO 65807.

By December 31, 2017, this act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and to develop the necessary classroom support for such students.  Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each public school including charter schools, shall conduct dyslexia screenings and provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Additionally, practicing teacher assistance programs shall include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorder provided by each school district for all practicing teachers.  Such training shall count as two contact hours of professional development.

This act also creates the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force will advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies.  The TAsk Force will consist of twenty members, as described in the act.  Except for four legislative members and the Commissioner of Education, the members will be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The Task Force will make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, as described in the act.

This is a tremendous step forward for public school students in MO!