Help for Dyslexic Students

Schoolchildren diagnosed with dyslexia will now receive a specific classification when schools develop individualized education plans for them, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law dyslexia legislation co-sponsored by Mr. Thiele. 

The bill will inform school districts about the unique educational needs of students with dyslexia and other related disorders in order to better help them succeed in school. 

One in five children in this country is affected by dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that makes word recognition, spelling, and reading difficult. School districts, however, Mr. Thiele said, “have been reluctant to reference dyslexia and other related disorders when developing” individualized education plans. “In October 2015, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance to clarify that there is nothing in the [Individuals With Disabilities Education Act] that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations. . . . This bill will help inform school districts and BOCES about the educational needs of students with dyslexia, so that early interventions and services can be provided to help these children become proficient readers.”

Although the bill takes effect immediately, it does require the state to develop its guidelines for schools consistent with the federal requirements and issue them sometime during the current school year.