Step Up For Dyslexia Awareness Walk October 13, 2019

Join Decoding Dyslexia-MO For A Picnic And Awareness Walk

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.

October 13, 2019, at 12 pm in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau

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.

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!

 

 

Dyslexia Bills Passed This Legislative Session

We can finally celebrate! HB2379, SB635, and SB638 have all passed and will head to the Governor’s desk. These bills contain dyslexia language. Thanks to Representative Swan, Representative Burlison, and Senator Sifton for your tireless work this legislative session on behalf of kids with dyslexia in MO. A special thanks also goes to Jewell Patek and David Winton for helping us in the legislature. And of course we owe a debt of gratitude to all of the legislators that voted in favor of these bills and helped move forward the dyslexia legislation.

All of the bills contain the same language (as it pertains to dyslexia) and include dyslexia screening, teacher training, and the Dyslexia Task Force. Once the Governor signs the bills, they will become laws! Yeah!!!

This is an excerpt from HB2379’s Bill Summary:

“This bill requires each public school to screen students for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Education. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) must develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students and the necessary classroom supports. The requirements and guidelines must be consistent with the findings and recommendations of the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia, which is also created by this bill.

The school board of each district and governing board of each charter school must provide reasonable support consistent with the guidelines developed by DESE. “Related disorders” are defined as disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, practicing teacher assistance programs will include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorders.

This bill establishes the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. The task force consists of 21 specified members including two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and two members appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate. The task force must meet quarterly and make recommendations to the Governor, the Joint Committee on Education, and specified state agencies. The task force will make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia including the development of resource materials, professional development activities, and proposed legislation.

The task force authorized under these provisions will expire on August 31, 2018.”

Be sure to thank your legislators for voting for these bills (legislator lookup) along with the Sponsors of all of the Dyslexia Bills (Senator Sifton, Representative Swan, and Representative Burlison).  These legislators also deserve special recognition:  Speaker RichardsonRepresentative Jones, Senator Kehoe, Senator Romine, Senator Onder, Senator Brown, and Representative Lair.

Don’t forget to write Governor Nixon and ask him to sign these bills into law: https://governor.mo.gov/get-involved/contact-the-governors-office.

 

Dyslexia Bills Filed in the House and the Senate

Senator Sifton, Representative Burlison, and Representative Swan have filed Dyslexia Bills.

Senator Sifton filed three Senate Bills.  Two of the Senate bills are related: SB827 and  SB633.  SB633 is an omnibus bill that address a wide range of education issues in our State.  SB633 establishes the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia and the hiring of a Dyslexia Specialist.  The other bill, SB827,  establishes the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia as a standalone bill. A third Senate bill, SB809, requires each public school to screen students for dyslexia and related disorders. SB827 had a Hearing in the Education Committee on February 10. Thank you Senator Sifton!  You can send him a thank you here.

Represenative Burlison filed HB1928, which would establish the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia and also requires DESE to hire a Dyslexia Specialist.  HB 1928 had a Hearing in the Education Committee on February 8.  Be sure to thank Representative Burlison in an email here.

Representative Swan filed HB2379, which requires public schools to screen student for dyslexia and related disorders.  You can send her a thank you here.  HB2379 has a Hearing in the Education Committee on February 15.  We are very fortunate to have these legislators working on behalf of kids with dyslexia in  Missouri!

We encourage you to contact your own Legislators to support these important bills.  You can look up your MO Representative via your zip code here and your MO Senator here.  Or perhaps you’d like to thanks the member of the House and Senate Education Committee.  You can do so here for the Senate Education Committee or here for the House Education Committee.  By sending a letter, email or making a phone call, they will know that dyslexia legislation matters in their district.

If you have any questions related to this legislation, please feel free to reach out on our Contact Us page.  Thank you!

 

US and MO Department of Education Issue Guidance on Dyslexia

Have you had problems getting your child’s School District to use the term “dyslexia”?  You aren’t alone.  These letters may help!  Be sure to share them with your child’s teachers, administrators, and his or her IEP team.  #SAYDYSLEXIA

DDMO DESE Dyslexia IEP opinion letter

US Dept of Ed guidance-on-dyslexia-10-2015

Interview with Michel Yudin, US Dept of Education

On October 23, 2015, the US Department of Education released their letter of guidance on dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. The following is a summary of the letter and how it may apply to Missouri families and students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

Background: Dyslexia stakeholders, including Decoding Dyslexia Missouri, reported to the United States Department of Education (USDOE) that State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs/LEAs) routinely refuse to use the word dyslexia and often refuse to screen/ identify, provide interventions for and/or educate teachers about dyslexia, dysgraphia (writing) and dyscalculia (math) disabilities. The DOE guidance document, linked here, responds to stakeholder complaints, including all 50 Decoding Dyslexia State Groups, and provides guidance to the State and Local Education Agency responsible for implementing both Response to Intervention (RtI –whole class/Tier I and small group/Tier II) and special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).

Summary:

1. It’s Okay to Say Dyslexia! The purpose of the letter from the DOE is to clarify that there is nothing in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.” (Guidance Letter page 1, paragraph 1)

2. IDEA Includes Dyslexia as a Specific Learning Disability and Evaluations Can Consider Disabilities like Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia. The guidance letter references the definition of specific learning disability in the IDEA, which includes the term dyslexia and says that school districts should conduct evaluations for students with difficulty reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), spelling (dyslexia, dysgraphia) and/or math concepts (dyscalculia) in accordance with 34 CFR Para. 300.304-300.311, evaluation procedures, IDEA. (Guidance letter page 1, paragraph 2)

3. Students Who Struggle with Reading, Writing and Math in the General Education Setting Can be Identified Using Response To Intervention (RTI) and Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS). The guidance letter reiterates that students who are at risk for reading failure and who struggle to read, write, spell and Decoding Dyslexia – MO Educate. Advocate. Legislate. Decoding Dyslexia – MO Educate. Advocate. Legislate. understand math concepts can receive interventions through Response to Intervention (RTI) and a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). The guidance further clarifies that RTI and MTSS can be used to address the specific learning needs of students with learning differences in the areas, of reading, math, writing. (Guidance Letter page 1, paragraph 3 & 4)

4. If a Student Doesn’t Respond to RTI/MTSS, Refer them for an Evaluation for Special Education. Students who receive “scientific-research based interventions” using RTI or MTSS and who don’t respond to the interventions “must be” referred for an evaluation to determine if they are eligible for special education and related services. RTI and MTSS cannot be used to delay or deny a full evaluation for a student suspected of having a disability. (Guidance letter page 2, paragraph 1)

5. Information about a Child’s Difficulties with Reading, Math and/or Writing, including Information Presented by the Parents, is Important to Determine the Child’s Disability and Educational Needs.
a. The guidance says that when determining whether a child has a disability under the IDEA, including a specific learning disability, and is eligible to receive special education and related services because of that disability, the school district must conduct a comprehensive evaluation under Sec. 300.304, which requires the use of a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information about the child.
b. It further states that information provided by parents with regard to reading, writing, and math must be considered as a part of the requirement “to gather relevant functional, developmental and academic information about the child” including information on the child’s learning difficulties related to reading, mathematics or writing. (Guidance Letter p.2, paragraph 2)
c. NOTE: If you are a parent and you notice your student struggles with reading, writing and/or math at home, this is information that should be included in the eligibility determination along with what’s going on in the classroom.

6. A Child Who Achieves Below Peers and/or Is Not On Grade Level Should be Evaluated. The guidance says that if a student is not achieving adequately for the child’s age or to meet grade level standards, this information should be considered for eligibility. (Guidance Letter p.2, paragraph 1)

7. If a Child’s Eligibility includes Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and/or Dyscalculia, Nothing Prohibits including these Specific Conditions in the Eligibility Determination. (Guidance Letter p. 2, Paragraph 2)

8. The Terms Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia Can Be Used in the IEP. The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) reiterates that there is nothing in the IDEA or the implementing regulations that would prohibit IEP Teams from referencing or using the terms “dyslexia”, “dyscalculia”, or “dysgraphia” in a child’s IEP. (Guidance Letter p.3, paragraph 1)

9. If Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and/or Dysgraphia is the Disability, the Team Should Learn About It so It Can be Addressed in the IEP. “OSERS believes there could be situations where an IEP team could determine that personnel responsible for IEP implementation would need to know about the condition underlying the child’s disability (e.g. that a child has a weakness in decoding skills as a result of the child’s dyslexia.)”

10.Ensure that Regular Education Teachers Are Informed about the Child’s IEP, its Implementation and Specific Accommodations, Modifications and Supports that Must be Provided. (Guidance Letter page 3, paragraph 1)

11.Information on Commonly Used Accommodations in the Classroom for Students with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia Should Be Provided to State and Local Education Agencies. OSERS lists a number of resources to find such accommodations and recommends that states access the DOE Technical Assistance Centers that develop materials and resources to support States, school districts, schools and teachers. (Guidance Letter page 3, paragraph 2).

12.OSERS encourages the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to review their policies, procedures and practices to ensure that it does not prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility and IEP documents. (Guidance Letter page 4, paragraph 1)

13.OSERS encourages Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to remind its local school districts of the importance of addressing the unique educational needs of children with specific learning disabilities resulting from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia during IEP Team meetings and other meetings with parents under IDEA. (Guidance Letter page 4, paragraph 1) Decoding Dyslexia – MO Educate. Advocate. Legislate.

DD-MO’s efforts are recognized in an article that ran in Jefferson City’s News Tribune

The News Tribune recently published the articleDyslexia Dilemma: Parents, educators given ‘tools’ to cope with disorder”.  The article discusses what dyslexia is and how families struggle to get the services they need.

This information was presented by Anita Kuttenkuler, a retired teacher and dyslexia tutor, at a recent Decoding Dyslexia-MO educational event.  Ms. Kuttenkuler also led a dyslexia simulation.

The News Tribune article also mentions Decoding Dyslexia’s recent efforts to get a dyslexia bill passed in the Missouri legislature.

Read the entire article

“Hill Day” planned for January 18

Please join us on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 for the second annual Decoding Dyslexia MO “Hill Day”!  Below is the itinerary with planned events and opportunities for you to meet your legislators and other DD-MO Members from around the State.  If you are able to attend this event, be sure to RSVP to jedwards@decodingdyslexia-mo.org so that we will be able to provide you with name tags, a luncheon, and other information/items for this event.

“Hill Day” Itinerary:

One week prior to the event – Make appointments to meet with your Legislators to meet in their office.  You can find contact information for your House Representative here and your Senator here.  Appointments are not necessary but, if you would feel more comfortable by scheduling an appointment then please do so. Please note:    Session and hearing times may not be determined prior to this date and offices may not be scheduling appointments.

On “Hill Day”:
9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm  Rotunda Table Hours — Our tables will be located on the third floor rotunda area on the House side.  Check in and collect name tags and other items for yourself and members of your family before heading off to meet your Legislators.  (We will be distributing “Talking Points” about important information to discuss in advance via email or on our Facebook pages that you can print at home for your use when speaking with your Legislators.)  DDMO Leaders from around the State will be on hand to answer questions and provide encouragement.

12 pm – 1 pm  DDMO Member Luncheon.  Join us in House of Representatives Hearing Room #6 to meet and socialize with other DDMO members from around the State.  There will be members of the legislature, Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia members and DDMO members on hand.  We will have a brief Powerpoint presentation to update you on all of the current activities of DDMO across the state.

Optional Tour of The Capitol.   If you would like to take a quick tour of the Capital while you are there, you can stop by the tour desk on the first floor of the Capital.  They last approximately 45 minutes.  More information can be found here.  You can also peruse the Missouri State Museum also found on the first floor, with our without a tour guide.

4pm – Safe Travels Home!  Hopefully, you will be enjoying a safe and relaxing ride back home knowing that you have participated in creating new and meaningful legislation for the dyslexic students in our State!

If you have any questions about “Hill Day”, please contact jedwards@decodingdyslexia-mo.org.   Interested in helping plan this event?  Join our Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/237742459716015/

We look forward to seeing you in Jefferson City!