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Dr. Sally Shaywitz's Major Step Forward for Dyslexia

Neuhaus Education Center's National Advisory Council Member Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Co-Director of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, shared her testimony before Congress at the hearing on "The Science of Dyslexia" before the full Congressional Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

Her passionate, informative presentation was an outstanding address about the scientific basis of dyslexia, and she also emphasized the dire need for families and children with dyslexia to be served through evidence-based reading instruction.

 

Dr. Shaywitz made 11 recommendations to be addressed. The first asked for schools to not ignore or fail to recognize the reality or diagnosis of dyslexia. The second through sixth recommendations focused on the integral components that define and make up the word dyslexia. For instance, she focused on the importance of using the word and the empowerment that would follow for the student. The "self-awareness of what he has and what he needs to do in order to succeed" and the knowing that the information brought with the diagnosis of dyslexia reveals that the individual is not "stupid or lazy." Recognizing and using the word also creates a space for a supportive community of administrators, teachers, families and other children with dyslexia. Recommendations seven through eleven focused on what evidence-based teaching is versus research-based teaching and that evidence-based reading programs should be chosen in order to receive effective instruction, intervention, and implementation.

See her final recommendation:

"11. Given the rapid growth in reading in the very first years of school and the already present gap by first grade, it seems reasonable to encourage the creation of special charter schools for grades k-3 that focus solely on dyslexia. The goal to reach children at-risk for dyslexia early on when reading intervention can be maximally effective and before the students fall further and further behind. At such specialized charter schools, such as the one, Louisiana Key Academy, attended by the children of a fellow panel member, the entire educational team from principal to classroom teacher to physical education instructor understanding dyslexia, its impact on students in various situations and are on board to support the students throughout their day. Here, students learn and there is no bullying by students or frustration expressed by teachers who may not understand the impact of dyslexia. These schools can also serve as resources where teachers can come, spend time and learn about dyslexia, what it is and how it impacts a student and learn specific evidence-based methods for teaching reading to dyslexic students and how to best implement these methods."

 

President & CEO, Dr. Marybeth Flachbart, serves on the National Advisory Council for Louisiana Key Academy, and all the teachers at the Academy, we are proud to say, have been trained by Neuhaus Education Center.

Louisiana Key Academy's website reads:

"Teaching Excellence will be the foundation of The Louisiana Key Academy by ensuring that the highest standards are obtained through the professional development of its’ teachers, administrators, and staff. The Neuhaus Educational Center, with over 30 years of innovative teacher training and research in evidenced-based curriculum for students with learning differences, will support this endeavor and the English Language Arts curriculum development for the Louisiana Key Academy. All teachers at the Louisiana Key Academy will participate in professional development through the Neuhaus Education Center prior to and during the academic school year through a combination of venues that will include onsite training in Houston, in-house training with Neuhaus personnel, and online training."

 


For Dr. Shaywtiz's full letter of recommendations and to watch clips from the hearing click here.

To find out more about Louisiana Key Academy click here. 

To learn more about our evidence-based teacher professional development and school improvement services contact H. Lee Pyror at lpryor@neuhaus.org or call 713-664-7676.