Washington State: 1,000s of kids not getting help for dyslexia; teachers not trained

June 28, 2018, Seattle, WA, KING5 News: Students with dyslexia sinking in class as WA schools neglect to provide proper help …The Sammamish boys, who have dyslexia, were at least two years behind their grade level. Yet, the Lake Washington School District did not teach them using a specialized curriculum for dyslexia intervention. That's an issue because federal law requires public schools to provide the specialized educational services needed for children with disabilities to meet their academic goals.... Thousands of Washington families who have children with dyslexia are caught up in the same fight to get appropriate intervention for their kids to succeed in the classroom before they fall too far behind. Many public schools are not identifying or properly educating students who have the language-based learning disability, according to special education experts and attorneys who work with families. In some cases, school districts will identify students who have the disability, but not until they've fallen years behind in school…. Teachers often miss the symptoms of the disability because, for years, the state hasn't required districts to train staff on dyslexia intervention. Experts say the symptoms are often masked by behavioral issues — when a student acts out in class or seems like the class clown. … "The behaviors get worse and finally reach a point where the school has to address them," said Charlotte Cassady, a Seattle-based special education attorney. "You have to do something about a kid who won't go to school or won't work when she's there or is yelling at a teacher and disrupting the class. But at this stage, the problem—which started as dyslexia—is a lot more expensive to try to turn around, and the turn around is less likely to succeed." … Sullivan added that the district provided two hours of training on dyslexia research to special education and reading intervention teachers this year. Next year, he wrote in the statement, elementary teachers in the district will receive the same training. He said 120 teachers will go through five days of training next year to learn a new dyslexia intervention curriculum that the district is adopting, and they'll learn how to screen for dyslexia. In a separate training, all kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers will attend a one-hour session in August to learn about dyslexia and how to identify struggling readers, he wrote….