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Dyslexia Awareness Month was only officially recognized by the US Congress in 2015. In 1878, 125 years ago, Adolf Kussmaul, a German neurologist coined the term “Word Blindness” to describe several of his patients who used words in the wrong order.In 1887, a German ophthalmologist, Rudolph Berlin was the first to use the word “Dyslexia” which referred to “difficulty with words”. The British physician Pringle Morgan, thought that the difficulties were due to “congenital word blindness”. Though he noticed the intelligence and reading discrepancy in a student, physicians at that time believed that the condition was caused by visual processing deficiencies.

Dyslexia can cause reading and spelling to be a challenge. In addition, short-term memory and the ability to do math problems can be problematic.Today, we are still only in our infancy in terms of spreading awareness and deepening the understanding of the full picture of how dyslexia impacts people. A hundred years ago, it was believed that dyslexia was a visual condition, but with modern technology, it is now known that dyslexia is a linguistic condition related to how the brain processes graphic symbols (Medical News Today, updated 4/18/17).

Senator’s Bill Cassidy and Barbara Mikulski created Senate Resolution 275 establishing October as National Dyslexia Awareness Month in 2015. The resolution passed the Senate without amendment on 10/07/2015.

 

The entire Senate Resolution S, Res 275:

Calling on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize the significant educational implications of dyslexia that must be addressed and designating October 2015 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.

The entire Senate Resolution: S. Res. 275:

Dyslexia defined as:

1) Unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader; and

(2) Due to a difficulty in getting to the individual sounds of spoken language, which affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, spell, and often, learn a language;

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and affects 80 percent to 90 percent of all individuals with a learning disability;

An individual with dyslexia may have weakness in decoding or reading fluency and strength in higher-level cognitive functions, such as reasoning, critical thinking, concept formation, or problem-solving;

Great progress has been made in understanding dyslexia on a scientific level, including the epidemiology and cognitive and neurobiological bases of dyslexia; and

Early diagnosis of dyslexia is critical for ensuring that individuals with dyslexia receive focused, evidence-based intervention that leads to the promotion of self-awareness and self-empowerment and the provision of necessary accommodations so as to ensure school and life success: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) Calls on Congress, schools, and State and local educational agencies to recognize that dyslexia has significant educational implications that must be addressed;
and

(2) Designates October 2015 as “National Dyslexia Awareness Month”.

 

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