Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Legislation & Research-Based Tools to Help Struggling Readers

At the time of this writing, a growing number of states in the U.S. either have passed or have pending legislation for the appropriate identification and the timely treatment of dyslexia. Unfortunately however, many states, have yet to develop such laws and guidelines. To date, this state-by-state process has been very slow and time-consuming for those whose lives are affected by some form of dyslexia.

On January 10, 2014, however, Congressmen Bill Cassidy, M.D., the Co-Chair of the House Dyslexia Caucus, submitted a resolution (H.Res. 456, 113th Congress) calling for the U.S. House of Representatives to acknowledge the impact of dyslexia and urge schools and educational agencies to address its impact on students. Dr. Cassidy released the following statement:

Dyslexia affects millions of Americans, including many students. We know that many with dyslexia are among our brightest and most successful. If dyslexia is identified in elementary school and the appropriate resources are given to these children, America can produce more teachers, more scientists and more entrepreneurs. This resolution pushes schools and educational agencies to address this challenge and provide evidence-based solutions for dyslexic students.

Rep. Cassidy’s resolution represents a giant step forward for the many who care about dyslexia — parents, teachers, dyslexic children and adults. This Resolution has the potential to impact the country, not just one state. For this reason and others, the effects of this legislation would be historical---and so helpful to many. Science has brought understanding and clarity to dyslexia in recent years. This Resolution by Representative Cassidy now calls for educators and testing agencies to catch up and put this powerful knowledge to work so that the 15-20% of U.S. children with dyslexia, their families and our entire nation may benefit. Please contact your local congressperson to express your opinion on this issue. (See the Find Your Representative link to follow.)

With the potential for passing such a resolution with national implications, there would arise an even greater need for more assistive technology---both low-tech AND high tech solutions for helping students with dyslexia and other reading challenges. However, these solutions will be required to provide evidence of appropriate research and proof of the technologies' successful use in the field. In other words, they will need to be research-based tools, strategies and methods.

On a related matter, the most current statistics from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 2013) indicate that approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. In addition, the percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011. All too often, children challenged with the symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) experience focus, tracking, comprehension and retention problems when reading. For them as well, the need for appropriate, research-based tools and strategies is growing.

One such group of these research-based tools is called the Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,859). With 2 independent studies of the tools completed, they have been shown to not only improve focus and tracking for students but also measurably improve some students' reading rates, a surprising outcome of the formal and more recent focus study conducted in a Central Missouri high school. In addition, the Reading Focus Cards have shown that they help many readers with ADHD, dyslexia and other issues that impact reading success (Apserger's, autism, stroke/TBI recovery, low vision, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's).

For more detailed information about the 2 independent focus studies of the evidence-based Reading Focus Cards, visit

For actual, unsolicited testimonials for the Reading Focus Cards, please visit

Sources & Resources

Urge Your Congressional Rep. to Support House Resolution on Dyslexia, #456. Contact Your Representative Now! by Sally Shaywitz, MD & Bennett Shaywitz, MD of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity

Cassidy Calls For Schools To Help Dyslexic Students---Jan 10, 2014---Press Release (Link to a copy of the Resolution is included here.)

Find Your Representative (in the U.S. House of Representatives)

Dyslexia Laws in the USA by Martha Youman & Nancy Mather

The International Dyslexia Association

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)---Data & Statistics (in the U.S.)

For information on customizable reading tools for ADHD & other reading challenges: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Devereaux Cannon and Dave Martucci: and
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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