Texas State Board of Education reviewing new guidelines to dysle - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas State Board of Education reviewing new guidelines to dyslexia handbook this month

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Texas State Board of Education is set to review updated guidelines for its dyslexia handbook this month, including expanded tests and screenings for kindergarten and first graders.

Parents and teachers across the state are pushing for it to be passed, especially with its emphasis on identifying the disorder at a young age. 

"We're identifying kids of all ages, but sometimes they slip through the cracks and then we find out it's dyslexia, and there's so much we could have done," Lubbock ISD Special Services Coordinator Dana King said. 

King said the key, or potential solution, is this kind of early intervention. 

"Sometimes they're getting into junior high at that point, and they're just getting farther and farther behind. It affects all academic areas at that point," King said.

According to the American Dyslexia Association, more than 40 million adults are dyslexic, but only two million know it. 

Clinton Gill, with the Texas State Teachers Association said this is a growing problem in Texas, each year. 

"For many, many years, the amount of students that are dyslexic has not been accurate because we've not been testing them early on, so they get into fourth, fifth grade, and even into middle school or high school before something is actually seen to help," Gill said.

In 2017, state lawmakers passed a bill to help address this issue. 

"Recently, a state law was passed where every kindergarten and first grade student is required to take a test to see if they're showing signs of dyslexia and that's really helped school districts intervene much earlier in the child's life," Gill said.

Gill said he hopes educators approve the handbook, adding the proposed guidelines proactively expand on the bill.

"It provides districts with a very straight pathway in how to provide services to these students. So often, school districts have to come up with their own resources to service the dyslexic students," Gill said.

However, Gill said he would also like to see the board to go a step further.

"One thing we do hope the state will do, along with passing the handbook, coming up with some sort of test that can be generalized across the state so that every school district uses the same sort of testing measure in K and 1, so that unilaterally, it it's across the board," Gill said.

The Texas Education Agency reported the next step after finalization is training, and King says Lubbock ISD is already a step ahead in this process, as the district is not only training teachers on dyslexia identification, but parents as well.

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