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State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

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Slossberg Leads the Unanimous, Final Passage of Legislation to Improve Education for Students With Dyslexia

Bill will ensure special education teachers are trained to identify and address dyslexia

Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford), Co-Chair of the Education Committee, led the unanimous, bipartisan passage of House Bill 7254, which takes important steps to improve the quality of education received by students with dyslexia. The bill will require special education teachers to complete a course of study and have supervised practicum hours in the detection and recognition of students with dyslexia.

“Students with undiagnosed dyslexia often find themselves in special education classes, being treated for a learning disability they do not have. This simple misdiagnosis can be very costly for the school and for the student’s education,” said Senator Slossberg. “HB 7254 was written to fix exactly this problem. Students, parents and educators from across Connecticut came to testify in support of this legislation, which will ensure that dyslexic students can be identified early and given the help they need to improve their reading and further their education as a whole.”

House Bill 7254 builds on Slossberg’s work in past years to raise the standards of Connecticut educators to ensure they are better equipped to engage and educate students with dyslexia. Following the enactment of this bill, persons seeking certification as special education teachers will need to study and participate in several practicum hours in the recognition of dyslexia and structured literacy interventions. This is critical to the education of students with dyslexia, who have been shown to benefit greatly from early identification and intervention.

Dyslexia is defined as a learning disability that affects reading, specifically spelling and word recognition. Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder and is often inconsistent with a student’s other cognitive abilities. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of children struggle with this condition.

When not properly diagnosed, dyslexia is often mistaken for another learning disability. This results in students with undiagnosed dyslexia being placed in special education classes, where they receive expensive services that they do not need and are not challenged and educated at a level that is appropriate for them. This bill will ensure that special education teachers are equipped to identify students in their classrooms that are struggling with dyslexia rather than another learning disability and get them the help they need.

Now that HB 7254 has passed in the Senate, it moves to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for final consideration.

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