October 2, 2018

Cassidy, Murphy Introduce Resolution Recognizing National Dyslexia Awareness Month

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced a resolution recognizing October as National Dyslexia Awareness Month.

“As the parents of a dyslexic child, my wife and I undertook a journey to better understand dyslexia to help our daughter succeed,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We learned it’s far more common than most realize, and that schools are ill-equipped to identify it early. By raising awareness of dyslexia and how to best identify and address it, I hope we can help children across the country so they can succeed in school too.”

“I’m proud to join Senator Cassidy in bringing awareness to the seriousness of dyslexia,” said Murphy. “I hear all the time from parents in Connecticut who are struggling to get their kids with dyslexia the attention and special instruction they need. I’m confident our resolution will help raise awareness about what needs to be done.”

Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) cosponsored the resolution.

The full text of the resolution is below.

Calling on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize the significant educational implications of dyslexia that must be addressed, and designating October 2018 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.

Whereas dyslexia is—

(1) defined as an unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader; and

(2) most commonly caused by a difficulty in phonological processing (the appreciation of the individual sounds of spoken language), which affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, and spell, and often, the ability to learn a second language;

Whereas dyslexia is the most common learning disability and affects 80 to 90 percent of all individuals with a learning disability;

Whereas dyslexia is persistent and highly prevalent, affecting as many as 1 out of every 5 individuals;

Whereas dyslexia is a paradox, in that an individual with dyslexia may have both—

(1) weaknesses in decoding that result in difficulties in accurate or fluent word recognition; and

(2) strengths in higher-level cognitive functions, such as reasoning, critical thinking, concept formation, and problem solving;

Whereas great progress has been made in understanding dyslexia on a scientific level, including the epidemiology and cognitive and neurobiological bases of dyslexia;

Whereas the achievement gap between typical readers and dyslexic readers occurs as early as first grade; and

Whereas early screening for, and early diagnosis of, dyslexia are critical for ensuring that individuals with dyslexia receive focused, evidence-based intervention that leads to fluent reading, promotion of self-awareness and self-empowerment, and the provision of necessary accommodations that ensure success in school and in life: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) calls on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications that must be addressed; and

(2) designates October 2018 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.