JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Starting this fall every child in Kindergarten through second grade will get tested for dyslexia in Arkansas. The act was approved in the 2013 regular Legislative session that ensured all children with dyslexia will have certain needs met by all public schools in the state.
Statistics show one in five students have dyslexia. These tests will help make accommodations for those who battle with reading every day.
"It's very important that we notice it early because the earlier we can start getting them interventions, the more likely they won't need special services later on," said Nettleton School District Special Education Director Lynn Cooper.
Screenings will start shortly after the year begins. Kindergartners won't be screened until the second semester to give them time to catch up on their reading skills.
"First graders and second graders will be screened between the first couple of weeks of school," said Cooper.
Each student will be tested using DIBELS (
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills)
which is a dynamic indicator of reading. Cooper told Region 8 News this method has been used for years and does show positive results.
"I've had a lot of parents tell me their kids are seeing success in reading," she said. "Once they started in the program and working with one of the intervention programs we use they started to like reading."
New students into the district will also get tested if they have not yet been screened.
Testing and certain accommodations may vary between school districts.