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The OH House approved 93-1 a bill that would allow three schools to voluntarily join a three-year pilot program involving screening and special instruction for students with dyslexia in cooperation with a local library.
Co-sponsor Rep. Ted Celeste (D-Grandview Heights) said as much as 20% of the population has the neurobiological disability that affects ones ability to read and do arithmetic. The goal of the pilot is to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for children with dyslexia and to evaluate whether those programs can reduce future special education costs.
“Dyslexia is not a disease, so there is no cure,” he said, adding the bill would add dyslexia to the Ohio Revised Code definition of a learning disability.
Early identification of dyslexia will decrease the need for special education services, and all parties involved will experience long-run cost savings.
Existing Department of Education funds would be used to pay for screenings.
“By identifying dyslexia early on in the course of learning to read, we will prevent children from falling significantly behind in decoding, reading fluency, spelling and writing let alone avoiding the heartache, self esteem damage and expense to the families and schools involved,” he said.
Rep. Brenner said participating schools would report results of the pilot after three years to determine if the program should be expanded.
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