Did You Know October is Dyslexia Awareness Month?
By DeJunne’ Clark Jackson, MA, MAT, MEd, CALT
During the month of October, The Center for Literacy & Learning and other advocates across the country are recognizing Dyslexia Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness about what dyslexia is and how early intervention is critical for struggling children. Dyslexia is a condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. In fact, it’s one of the most common learning disabilities affecting approximately 1 in 5 individuals. Dyslexia is a neurological, language-based condition that creates a different way of thinking. It affects reading, writing, speaking, and spelling. This can make learning to read more challenging but definitely not impossible! Almost all individuals that have dyslexia can learn to read, they just need a more intentional style of instruction. This is why raising awareness of what dyslexia is and how to identify it is crucial for early intervention in a child with dyslexia’s educational career.
While there is no cure for dyslexia, there are many learning strategies that can be adopted by children with dyslexia which puts them on a track to educational success. Children with dyslexia need a systematic and explicit understanding of language structure. They often need a deeper learning environment focused on phonics. Dyslexia is in no way related to intelligence; students with dyslexia just learn differently.
Over the years, Louisiana has begun to recognize the importance of addressing dyslexia through legislation and policy initiatives. The Louisiana legislature has passed a number of laws that recognize specialized dyslexia practitioners, dyslexia screening for students, and a number of commissions and workgroups that have explored the nuances of struggling readers, including children with dyslexia. Although the Pelican State has made strides, the work is not yet complete. A number of students are still unidentified or underserved, and there is a pressing need for more dyslexia therapists in schools to reach every student in need of dyslexia resources.
Dyslexia is a common and often misunderstood learning disability, but Louisiana has taken significant steps to raise awareness, provide support, and improve educational outcomes for individuals with dyslexia. With legislative actions, educational resources, and dedicated support organizations, the state is working to ensure that every dyslexic individual has the opportunity to reach their full potential. By fostering a more inclusive and supportive educational environment, Louisiana is paving the way for a brighter future for individuals with dyslexia.
Stay tuned to The Center’s social media as we raise awareness about dyslexia during the month of October. For more resources and information on how educators can support struggling readers through the science of reading foundational skills, visit The Center for Literacy & Learning Resource Page at mycll.org/for-parents-and-teachers/, or learn more about dyslexia visit the International Dyslexia Association at https://dyslexiaida.org/.
DeJunne’ Clark Jackson, MA, MAT, MEd, CALT