Nevada Assembly Bill Would Mandate Dyslexia Screenings
A group of Northern Nevada parents have banded together to support a legislative bill that would mandate enhanced dyslexia screening and intervention in area schools.
Wednesday, April 1st 2015, 3:08 pm PDT by
Wednesday, April 1st 2015, 3:08 pm PDT
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language.
Ten-year-old Meagan Cavallero explains her trouble with words. "They look the same, then but the sounds don't make sense with how they were put together."
"Um, reversing his letters. 'NO' would be 'ON' and stuff like that," says mother Karen Cavallero.
Cavallero knows all too well about the struggles that come along with dyslexia. Both of her kids Megan and Ian have been diagnosed with the condition. "If you're seeing your kid struggle in kindergarten, seek help. Because, what we know is that kids with a reading disability do not outgrow it."
So moms, along with a larger group of parents are in support on Assembly Bill 341, that would mandate early screening and intervention for Nevada students.
"The psychologists, the principals, the parents, we call need to collaborate together to make this happen,” says parent Gwen Niccoli.
But it would take changes - in teaching strategies and school administration – plus, hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it happen.
And the bill, as it is currently written has no funding attached to it.
Lindsay Anderson, Director of Government Affairs for the school district told us that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for Washoe County School District to support. "Our special needs students are a top priority and if this bill receives the necessary funding, we will put it to good use."
But, Karen says the money is already there. "The school district is spending thousands, millions of dollars on Special Ed, and 80% of the kids in Special Ed have dyslexia, so it's all about re-allocating resources."
"If you can re-mediate these children when they are very young - the brain can actually change," says parent Michelle Hillman.
Young Meagan agrees, special tutoring has helped her go from being scared of reading to loving it. “It's okay to be different. Sometimes it's special to be different."
Assembly Bill 341 was presented in committee Wednesday afternoon. No decision has been made at this point, but we will be sure to update you as more details become available.