Texas 2009 HB 461 – Regulation of dyslexia practitioners

texasRelating to the regulation of dyslexia practitioners and therapists; providing penalties.

Establishes 2-tier voluntary licensing system, requiring specific training and examination in multi-sensory structured language education. Requires Department of  Health to issue regulations and enforce licensing scheme, with potential civil penalties for violation.  Public schools are not required to hire licensed practitioners, but “practitioners” are allowed to practice only in a school or clinic setting; only “therapists” may offers services in a private setting.

Also establishes an interim committee to study and recommend legislation to increaseawareness of early detection and treatment of dyslexia and related disorders.

3 thoughts on “Texas 2009 HB 461 – Regulation of dyslexia practitioners

  1. I agree with the comments that the law is limiting the services available to students to some private entities that are presenting the same information received from other places. I received a certificate from Read America for working with students with Dyslexia and did clinical work that resulted in high achievement of all students. The program is highly researched in UK, but used in different states in America. Also, my major in early childhood/reading/elementary with coursework toward a Masters in Reading in Texas gave me a firm foundation in the same courses that are presented as necessary background for certification as a “therapist.” I do not agree with the limitations you have set in this law; however, I do agree that anyone teaching reading at any grade or any program should have the sufficient background in “how to teach reading” with basic courses. I believe universities should be able to provide the needed background for reading teachers.

  2. Your comment illustrates the problem with the Texas law.

    You stated, falsely, that Davis Dyslexia Correction methods are not “research based”, citing to a 2001 opinion piece published in a membership magazine (not a research journal). However, since 2001 there have been a number of reports about Davis methods published in peer-reviewed research journals, as well as significant academic thesis research. See http://www.dyslexia.com/science/research.htm for citations.

    I believe the same journal you cite also criticized the research base for vision therapy — but of course there has also been a good deal of research published since that time in the field of developmental optometry — see http://www.visionhelp.com/vh_resources_12.html for citations.

    The impact of the Texas law was essentially to prevent Texas schoolchildren from having the benefit of new research, and to foreclose schools from exploring or implementing approaches based on ongoing research. The purpose was to protect the economic interests of the organization that provide training in a single method, by elevating the private providers of training and testing to quasi-official status. It’s money in the bank for the agency that lobbied for the law, but it limits the options of public schoolchildren and drives up the costs for schools to provide services.

  3. The Davis Dyslexia Correction Methods is not a research based therapy for language retraining of the dyslexic learner. It is in fact a very controversial approach. See “Perspectives” Volume 27, No. 3, Summer, 2001 published by The International Dyslexia Association for an explanation of several controversial therapies including the Ronald D. Davis method. Licensure for dyslexia practitioners and therapists in Texas was long sought to ensure that dyslexic learners would have assurance of the best research based therapy given by appropriately trained teachers and therapists. Licensing will augment the Texas Dyslexia Law in assuring parents that that their children will receive the very best therapy available and will help them avoid those methodologies that are not research based.

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