“With this law, it really does help with that early intervention, before students get to third or fourth grade, where sometimes it’s too late,” said Janice Kohler, the Director of Professional Development at the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education. “That’s going to make all the difference in the world if you can identify students [with reading disabilities] at an earlier age.”
The new bill, according to the North Carolina Decoding Dyslexia website, will:
- Define dyslexia in the state education code.
- Ensure that the State Board of Education provide professional development “on the identification of and intervention strategies for students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, or other specific learning disabilities.”
- Require State Board of Education to develop and make available information electronically about dyslexia, educational methodologies, screenings and what is available to support the work with children with dyslexia.
- And require local boards of education to review the diagnostic tools and screening instruments they have available.
The website Dyslegia.com notes that the law also requires that the North Carolina State Board “provides further data concerning characteristics of children with dyslexia, educational methodologies, screenings, and what is available to support the work with children with dyslexia in North Carolina.”
Treatment services include academic coaching, educational therapy, end of grade (EOG) preparation, organizational skills and programs like IMSE’s OG.
“If more states follow suit,” Kohler said, “you’ll see less referrals to special education at a later time. The key is really early intervention to identify students at a young age so they can be successful in school right from the start.”