Guidelines for dyslexia and more

Last month was recognized as Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) month, and November is recognized to assist in raising awareness of the needs of children with learning and attention issues, to assure that no child falls through the cracks.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) released guidance to state and local educational agencies. This guidance clarifies that students with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia have unique educational needs.

It further clarifies that there is nothing in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in a student’s evaluation, determination of eligibility for special education and related services, or in developing a student’s individualized education program (IEP).

It is our hope that the guidance from US DOE Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services will help families and educators work together on behalf of children. A letter written by Secretary Michael Yudin offers support. Also, the Department has created a new position to focus on dyslexia and other reading-based learning challenges.

For more information, contact Director of Special Services Jan Breton at Janice.breton@maine.gov.