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MONTANA: State Senate to focus on dyslexia; 70% of 8th graders don't read at grade level

Feb 5, 2019, NBC Montana: Dyslexia advocates call for official disability recognition https://nbcmontana.com/news/local/dyslexia-advocates-call-for-official-disability-recognition MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana is one of only a handful of states that does not test for or recognize dyslexia as a learning disability. Wednesday the State Senate will hold a hearing for a bill that could change that by next school year. It would define dyslexia as a learning disability, require schools to screen for it and would provide teachers with the right tools to help students…. Gilder, who specializes in teaching students with dyslexia, says 20 percent of the population have it, and many don’t even know it. She says that’s why it’s important for legislation to be passed. “It will get kids screened for dyslexia early, because early intervention is key to getting them at grade level,” said Gilder. “The next part would be to provide the teachers with the right kind of tools to give them the necessary interventions.” Having been a public school teacher herself, Gilder says most teachers -- by no fault of their own -- aren’t trained to recognize dyslexia. If passed, the bill would change that. “Only 30 percent of eighth graders are reading at grade level. In high school, they're not learning how to read anymore, they're reading to learn, and once they can't do that they're going to start struggling in all the other subjects too,” said Gilder….