Dr. Sally Shaywitz states in Overcoming Dyslexia, “The human brain is resilient, but there is no question that early intervention and treatment bring about more positive change at a faster pace than an intervention provided to an older child. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the quicker your child can get help, and the more likely you are to prevent secondary blows to her self-esteem.”
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. A secondary consequence may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
In 2016 the Maine Dyslexia Screening Statute went into effect. In this statute it is stated that each school administrative unit shall screen for dyslexia all students from kindergarten to grade 2 who are identified as having difficulty in phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, sound-symbol relationships (phonics), alphabet knowledge, decoding, rapid naming or encoding. If a student in kindergarten through grade 2 has a weakness in any one of these areas the student screening must include an examination of the student’s:
- Phonological and phonemic awareness
- Sound-symbol recognition
- Alphabet knowledge
- Decoding skills
- Rapid naming skills and
- Encoding skills
To support the work of early screening and early intervention the Maine Department of Education Office of Special Services and Inclusive Education is pleased to announce a second year of the Maine Dyslexia Screening Project. This project is designed to support schools in a one-time reimbursement opportunity of up to $4,500 towards a high-quality screener for the 2023-2024 school year. For more information about the evidence needed for reimbursement and the video overview please visit the 2023-2024 screening page here.
Sign Up for a Free Dyslexia Awareness Kit
As part of our expanded efforts to improve communication and deepen understanding about dyslexia screening and supporting struggling readers we are offering one free dyslexia awareness kit to each school in Maine. The kit includes a copy of Conquering Dyslexia: A Guide to Early Detection and Intervention for Teachers and Families by Dr. Jan Hasbrouck, IDA information sheets and informational articles and links.
To request a kit for your school please complete this request form. If you have additional questions, please contact Dee Saucier at email@example.com.