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Don't give up on dyslexic students' ability to read

I agree with commentator Kalman R. Hettleman that students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia aren't getting the support they need ("Disabled students aren't as disabled as you think," Oct. 7).

Since the fall of 2011 Decoding Dyslexia, a grassroots movement of parents, has spread to 47 states due to frustration with the public education system for children labeled with a specific learning disability. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan should have acted on this issue long before now.

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The truly sad part is there are decades of research on how to remediate the reading deficits in children with dyslexia. The Children's Dyslexia Centers, private schools developed for this student population, and tutors have utilized the Orton Gillingham methodology to bring students to grade level reading for many years. The issue lies more in a failure to act upon that knowledge within the public education arena.

Experts in the field of dyslexia have been partnering with parents to spread awareness of dyslexia, especially in October, which is Dyslexia Awareness Month. As an educational advocate specializing in children with dyslexia, I see first-hand how devastating it is to our children that their teachers have received no instruction about the disorder at the university level.

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Teachers have excellent intentions, but they don't know what they don't know. This lack of knowledge affects children in regular education and special education.

This country is in need in many areas, but dealing now with dyslexia in the public schools will save future costs for special education, social programs and incarceration. Accountability now can remove our children from the school-to-prison pipeline. I'm glad to hear Mr. Duncan at least got that right.

Tina Marie DeLong

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