Teachers to get dyslexia recognition training after new law goes into effect

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By Nicole Pence

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 26, 2015)-- A new law that will help teachers assist dyslexic students goes into effect in July. Starting July 1, dyslexia will be added to the teacher training section of the general education code for the first time.

Ethan Pratt is dyslexic, and learns in a special way.

"It makes it harder for me to understand things and the letters get flipped," explained Pratt.

Pratt's teachers noticed his dyslexia early in kindergarten.

"We were the lucky family that it was caught early, kindergarten. Some families it isn`t until fourth of fifth grade. Then there is a gap between students with dyslexia and their peers, and it is so huge," said Ethan's mother, Julie Pratt.

One in five people are dyslexic, but fewer than 30 percent ever get diagnosed or get the right help, according to Tracy Powell with the Dyslexic Institute of Indiana. Powell is a multi-sensory instructor.

"They have a normal healthy brain. It just processes differently.  Kids with dyslexia are smart and bright they have great potential," said Powell.

The new state law will also ask universities to train future teachers to know the early warning signs of dyslexia.

"If a child is reached early on then they can do well and catch up to their peers. Early identification is key," said Powell.

"I think that is great because I hope it makes it easier for kids in the future to understand things and get extra help when they need it sooner rather than later," said Ethan Pratt.

Since the new law only offers training for teachers in school right now, the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana is offering courses for current teachers this summer who want to learn the early warning signs.

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