The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing, “The Science of Dyslexia,” on September 18, 2014. The purpose of the hearing was to bring to light the great strides made in understanding, diagnosing and effectively addressing dyslexia so that there is today a true science of dyslexia. The hearing was a response to the need for greater public understanding of both the scientific basis of dyslexia and of the deep impact of dyslexia on the lives of children and families, and particularly, of the great need for educators and schools to become knowledgeable about dyslexia.
Dr. Sally Shaywitz was invited to be the lead-off speaker to testify on “The Science of Dyslexia.” Rep. Bill Cassidy, MD, the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Dyslexia Caucus who introduced the state-of-the-art House Resolution (H.R.) 456, spoke passionately about his and his wife’s heart-breaking experiences in search of a school for their daughter (who is dyslexic) that truly understood dyslexia and knew about the science of dyslexia and effective approaches to teaching a dyslexic child to read. Stacy Antie, also a parent of a dyslexic child, spoke movingly about similar experiences with her child and went on to describe her and her child’s exhilaration reflecting the positive turn-around of her child resulting from attending a charter school, Louisiana Key Academy (LKA), specifically for children who are dyslexic. Her description should be read by all who wonder what an optimal school could do for their child. The talented screenwriter and best-selling author (and dyslexic) Max Brooks spoke about his own dyslexia journey and encouraged the Committee to make dyslexia awareness training mandatory for all teachers, which caused the room to explode in unprecedented applause.
Below are clips from the nearly two-hour hearing.
September 18, 2014: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Hearing, “The Science of Dyslexia,” Dr. Sally Shaywitz provides expert testimony on what dyslexia is, who it affects, and the need for evidence-based programs to remediate it.
More clips from the September 18 hearing: