ANNOUNCEMENT FROM DR. SHAYWITZ:
There is a newly-formed US Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. 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).
- Find your zip +4 code by going to https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction!input.action
- Go to https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
- Put in your state and your zip +4
- The utility will automatically take you to your representative's contact form.
- Compose a message and send. The message I sent is at the bottom of this post; you might talk about how dyslexia has affected you or a family member.
Please take action now. Dr. Shawitz talked about how important it is to get a discussion about dyslexia going at the national level.
Dyslexia is real and US Public Schools are moving too slow to address it properly.
Date Approved: 1/18/2012
Chair(s): Rep. Bill Cassidy; Rep. Pete Stark
Staff Contact Information:
David Pulliam (Cassidy) 202.225.3901, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Hild (Stark) 202.225.5065, email@example.com
Here's the message I sent to David Pulliam and Jeff Hild:
Thanks to Reps. Cassidy and Stark for forming the US Congressional Dyslexia Caucus.
I wrote to Rep. Eshoo and asked her to join the caucus, using data from our local elementary district (Redwood City Elementary).
From this website, I found data for my county (San Mateo)
I see that the total number of students with Specific Learning Disability (as dyslexia is identified in IDEA) is 3,815.
Looking at the change by age, many students aren't identified until after third or fourth grade. This is too late; we can screen for phonemic awareness issues as soon as the second half of kindergarten.
From this website,
I see that there are 92,097 total students in San Mateo County
3,815/92,097 = 4.1% of the total number of students in San Mateo County are identified as having Specific Learning Disability. That percentage is far too small.
Dr. Shaywitz estimates the percentage of students with dyslexia (or specific learning disability: reading) is at least 10%; the International Dyslexia Association has the view that 15-20% of the population has a language-based learning disability, including dyslexia.
I would also like to know about the effects of untreated dyslexia and reading failure on the drop-out rate. Students don't start to fail just before they drop out; the failure has been going on for years.