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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 12:23 am | Fair 45º


Cheri Rae: Myth About Dyslexia Being Replaced with State Legislation, Improved Awareness

As the children in our community head back to school, it’s timely to share some very important information about dyslexia, a common condition that is widely misunderstood: Individuals with dyslexia number 1 in 5; dyslexia is a hereditary, neurological difference in the brain that causes difficulties in reading, writing and spelling — and it has no relationship to intelligence.

The longer it takes to identify, implement appropriate instruction or remediate skills, the greater the likelihood that students with dyslexia will struggle academically, and too frequently experience secondary behavior and/or socio-emotional issues as well.

But this school year, there’s something new to address dyslexia in our schools and our community.

» Dyslexia guidelines: The dyslexia guidelines associated with California's dyslexia legislation, Assembly Bill 1369, take effect this school year. They were co-sponsored by our own then-Assemblyman Das Williams and unanimously passed by the Senate and the House. This is an important step forward for students and their families, as well as educators, administrators and policymakers. Access the guidelines by clicking here. A quick digest of 10 top points is available by clicking here.

» Monthly dyslexia workshops: Dyslexia Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Public Library continue to collaborate, this school year offering a monthly dyslexia workshop for our community. These will take place on the first Wednesday of each month in the Faulkner Gallery, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 6 with a general introduction and a discussion about how to approach the new school year. Our meetings will focus on a range of subjects, including accommodations, dyslexia and college, dyslexia in the workplace, and assistive technology. And learn more about the library-sponsored Orton Gillingham training for the community. We hope to see you there. For more information, email [email protected].

» Costco Connection: Take a look at Page 43 of the current issue of the Costco Connection magazine. It features a full-page article about dyslexia. You don’t get much more mainstream than that!

» Dodgers and dyslexia: Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 9 when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Colorado Rockies — and observe Dyslexia Night at Dodgers Stadium! A portion of each ticket sold goes to the International Dyslexia Association-Los Angeles Branch.

» Decoding dyslexia: This grassroots parent movement has grown exponentially in just five years. Its motto is: Educate. Advocate. Legislate. It's an excellent resource for learning about other dyslexia-related developments in California. I've just written an article for the blog about recent dyslexia advances in L.A. Unified.

» Facebook: Join our Facebook page, where we frequently post information of local interest and the latest news about dyslexia.

Let's work together to make this school year the best ever for all of our students, including those outside-the-box, innovative thinkers with dyslexia.

— Cheri Rae is the author of DyslexiaLand, the mother of a son with dyslexia and the director of Dyslexia Santa Barbara. She can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

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