Dyslexia Caucus Update

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By Eric Tridas, M.D., IDA President

Legislative UpdateOn May 8, 2012, I had the privilege of attending an event of the U.S. Congressional Dyslexia Caucus.  I was a guest of Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, Directors of The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity who cosponsored this event with Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Pete Stark, the Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. The three hour event featured an excellent presentation by Dr. Sally Shaywitz on the topic of dyslexia as a hidden source of great abilities and frequently unrecognized powers.  Dr. Shaywitz has been instrumental in helping colleges and universities recognize that many individuals with dyslexia can enrich their schools with their talents, out-of-the-box thinking, and perseverance.  However, many are denied accommodations on their high-stakes tests, which ultimately limits their access to higher education.  Her excellent presentation was followed by the documentary The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia which featured stories of many talented individuals with dyslexia who are often denied access to simple accommodations that can help them overcome some of their dyslexia related challenges.  As part of these efforts, The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity created a petition asking that Congress require that testing agencies grant accommodations for students with dyslexia so that high stakes tests assess ability and not disability, and students are allowed to go forward and succeed in life.  To learn more about this petition go to The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity Legalize Dyslexia Page.

I am also very pleased to announce that Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz have been selected as the 2012 Samuel Torrey Orton Award recipients.  The Samuel Torrey Orton Award is the International Dyslexia Association’s highest honor. It serves to recognize a person (or persons) who have made a vital contribution to our (i) scientific understanding of dyslexia, (ii) significantly enhanced and advanced our capacity to successfully intervene and assist people with dyslexia, (iii) expanded national and international awareness of dyslexia, or (iv) demonstrated unusual competence and dedication in service to people with dyslexia. As part of this honor, Drs. Shaywitz will be delivering the Samuel Torrey and June Lyday Orton Memorial Lecture.

For more information on the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus and how to urge your Representative to join the caucus, click here.

Please join us at our National Conference in Baltimore this October to learn more about the latest advances and contributions to the field of dyslexia and to celebrate the accomplishments of those who have served the field in so many ways.

Eric Tridas, M.D. is President of the International Dyslexia Association. Dr. Tridas is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician in Tampa, Florida and Director of The Tridas Center for Child Development and the Medical Director for Pediatric Health Choice’s Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Facilities. Dr. Tridas specializes in the management of ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

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