Arkansas – 2011 – SB 749 – Children with Dyslexia

An act to ensure that children with dyslexia have their needs met by the public school system; and for other purposes.  Requires that all public school children in grades K-2 be screened for dyslexia; and that school districts implement strategies for treating dyslexia and related disorders.


“Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin  manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell despite  conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and social opportunity.

“Related disorders” means disorders similar to or related to  dyslexia, including without limitation developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and  developmental spelling disability.

Requires that public schools test all students in kindergarten through grade two (K-2) for dyslexia and related disorders. The results of such testing must be reported to the individual student’s parents or guardians, as district-wide results must be reported to the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education shall develop recommendations to school districts to administer reading instruments designed to diagnose student 16 reading development and comprehension; train teachers in the use of such instruments, and apply the results of the the instruments to the instructional program.

The state board shall adopt a list of reading instruments that a school district may use to diagnose student reading development and comprehension. A school district may adopt its own supplemental list of reading instruments.  Each reading instrument adopted by a state board or school district shall be based on scientific research concerning reading skills development and reading comprehension, and provide for diagnosing the reading development and comprehension of a student participating in a specialized reading program.

School districts must notify parents in writing, in English or the parents native language, before an identification or assessment procedure is used with their child, and of all services and options available to the student under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504, if the student is eligible.

School districts must implement strategies approved by the State Board of Education for screening and techniques for treating dyslexia and related disorders, and purchase or develop a reading program for students with dyslexia and related disorders approved by the state board.

A teacher who screens and treats students with dyslexia and related disorders shall be trained in instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods, and a variety of writing and spelling techniques.

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