October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month, and some Michigan senators are promoting a package of legislation that would better help children struggling with the learning disability. Four bills introduced in the Michigan Senate aim to better prepare teachers to understand the characteristics of dyslexia, identify among students, and properly intervene. Ann Arbor Democrat Jeff Irwin sponsored Senate Bill 1173, which calls for the use of a universal screening assessment during grades K-to-3 to identify reading difficulties among students.
“In the early elementary years, it’s especially critical that children learn how to crack the code. If they do not, there are severe academic and psychological ramifications,” Irwin said.
It’s estimated about half of third- and fourth-graders in Michigan are reading and writing below grade level. Michigan is the only state without a statewide strategy to specifically address dyslexia.