Support Group Advocates For Needs Of Students With Dyslexia In Florida

Parents from the Dyslexia, Learning and Support Group Florida recently traveled to Florida State College in Jacksonville to voice their concerns with the panel of experts in the fields of education and dyslexia. The Education Solutions Summit reviewed the need for legislative changes to the Florida Statutes as they relate to struggling readers and those with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read, write and spell. Individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected, despite having normal intelligence.

The Dyslexia, Learning and Support Group Florida is made up of concerned parents and others working to translate knowledge and research about dyslexia into policy and practice in public school systems. Group members are concerned about why so little information on dyslexia has reached the average teacher, the public and physicians in Florida, even though much of the current research was conducted right here at the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University.

At the summit, panelists shared scientific knowledge on dyslexia. Speakers included Dr. Sally Shaywitz from the Yale Center of Creativity; Dr. Laura Bailet from Nemours BrightStart!; Dr. Holly Lane, associate professor at the University of Florida; and Cari Miller, director of K-3 Reading at the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Dyslexia, Learning and Support Group Florida hopes that state legislators will improve the services for students with dyslexia in public schools, fund teacher training in dyslexia signs and remediation, define dyslexia in state codes, offer a dyslexia endorsement that teacher can add to their teaching certificate and, most importantly, that school systems provide evidence-based methodologies in a multi-sensory structured language program to remediate the needs of dyslexics by first grade.

The support group will host Dr. Tim Conway from the University of Florida at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Palm Beach County Main Library (3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach). He will be discussing the research behind dyslexia and how to help children and adults who struggle to read.

For more information, call Tricia Gerard at (561) 601-5883 or e-mail Information about the support group can also be found on Facebook.

ABOVE: Kate Rucci, Tricia Gerard and Rachel Frishberg with dyslexic student Bryce Gerard and University of Florida dyslexia researcher Dr. Tim Conway.