Missoula Screening for Dyslexia, Despite Specific State Recognition
Those suffering with dyslexia face an uphill battle in Montana when it comes to getting the education and resources needed to cope with the learning disability. Missoula County Public School Superintendent Mark Thane explains part of the reason for this struggle.
"The state of Montana as part of special education does not recognize dyslexia whereas some other states do, so I don't think there has been as much considered attention to dyslexia and dysgraphia as there might be," Thane said.
Despite the lack of recognition at the state level, Missoula’s youngest students are beginning to see some screening this year.
"Dr. Julie Wolter at the University of Montana, just received a huge National Institute of Health Grant to study dyslexia and we are actually partnering with her. We have drafted a plan and we're assessing all kindergarten students, as a first step, in the district to work on identifying those that might be at risk. To better understand how greatly this impacts are classrooms and the district this is an important first step - collecting that baseline data."
The grant of $4.5 million was announced back in May, but it is unclear what the next steps will be after the Kindergarten assessment. According to Thane, there could also be opportunities for dyslexia screening for students that are not in kindergarten, parents interested in this should ask their teacher and local school system administrators.