As students experience difficulty learning to read, teachers learning to identify students with dyslexia are getting additional training and resources through a summer seminar that puts them in the position of students trying to read with the neurological disorder.
The Alabama State Department of Education is mandating that teachers and administrators receive training in recognizing dyslexia characteristics, and new programs have resulted as the school year begins.
According to regional reading coach Wendy Burns, students with dyslexia have difficulty with word recognition, spelling, writing, and reading fluency. She is one of several officials who have been training public school teachers since January. A key part of the training puts teachers in the same situations as students with dyslexia.
“I’ve seen teachers cry during training,” Burns said.
Approximately 20 percent of the national population is affected by dyslexia. In Alabama, that translates to about 150,000 school children.