Behning: Governor signs bill helping students with dyslexia

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Tuesday, April 24, 2018 12:03 pm

STATEHOUSE (April 24, 2018) — Students with dyslexia will soon have access to more resources thanks to legislation sponsored by State Reps. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) and Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).

Under this new law, ceremonially signed by the governor on Monday, students in kindergarten through second grade will be screened for dyslexia. Burton said early detection of dyslexia is key because it directly impacts the way a student reads, writes, spells and pronounces words. Once diagnosed, teachers can adjust and tailor instructional techniques to meet a student’s unique learning needs. Additionally, school corporations will have access to an educator who specializes in dyslexia.

“Several years ago, I met the mother of a son with dyslexia, and she introduced me to students who learn differently from others,” Burton said. “Unfortunately, many of these students were not receiving the help they needed because the learning disorder was not widely discussed. I met several young Hoosiers who struggled for years in school, but once they discovered they had dyslexia and got the support they needed, they excelled.” 

In 2015, Burton and Behning authored a law defining dyslexia in Indiana’s education statute and providing teachers training to better identify students with this learning disorder.

“In the U.S., 1 one in 5 people have dyslexia in some form,” Behning said. “Early detection and intervention is critical because dyslexia impacts the way a student learns. Working with parents and educators to identify dyslexia early is key to ensuring students are confident and learning the necessary skills to be successful in life.” 

Senate Enrolled Act 217 goes into effect July 1.  

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State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) represents House District 58,

which includes a portion of Johnson County. 

State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,

which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.