I’m cheering in my living room. OK, I’m actually trying not to cry while smiling big as I read that a bipartisan dyslexia bill will be signed into law by President Obama. I’m the mom to the brightest girl who happened to repeat kindergarten thanks to her learning differences. I know firsthand how children with dyslexia struggle. I’ve watched my girl react to hard moments of reading tutoring by crying, running into a corner of the room, and curling up into the fetal position. While this is only one illustration of my child’s struggles, it’s the clearest example of why we need resources to help children with dyslexia.
I am fond of repeating the fact that an estimated one in six people have some form of dyslexia. So excuse me while I celebrate these lines from the 114th Congress’ Committee on Science, Space & Technology’s press release posted Feb. 4th:
“The House of Representatives today cleared the way for the bipartisan Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) (H.R. 3033) to be signed into law. The READ Act, introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), supports important research to further our understanding of dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training.”
The passage of this bill means the National Science Foundation will devote at least $2.5 million annually to dyslexia research. This research will focus on best practices in early identification of children and students with dyslexia; professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators; and curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia.
The READ Act also authorizes $2.5 million for research focused on other learning disabilities. Which also rocks, because did you know that if you have one learning disability, you often have other learning disabilities, too? People with learning differences are multifaceted — ask any parent of a child that has one. And go ahead and congratulate that parent on the READ Act news, too. Because as a parent of a smart girl with a handful of learning differences, it’s a good day when you know more than just your child will get more help thanks to a bill that is being signed into law by President Obama. Happy dance time.