NEXSTAR (WASHINGTON D.C.)– The conversation about America’s most common learning disability moves from the classroom to Congress.
According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia impacts one in five children. The latest action at the nation’s capital could lead to more research and school programs.
Retired NHL player and Dyslexia Advocate Brent Sopel, didn’t know he had a learning disability until 10 years ago when his daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia.
He shares, “We connect every day on a different level.”
When Sopel couldn’t connect with his studies as a kid, he turned to hockey, which earned him a Stanley Cup title, but only about an 8th-grade level education.
Sopel says, “There are some brilliant people in this world that are getting let down that can change everything.”
That’s why Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman invited Sopel, along with dyslexic students, their educators and doctors from around the country, to the nation’s capital to spread awareness about America’s most common learning disability.
The Republican Representative from Arkansas explains, “We help kids learn to read and then they read to learn. It’s a pretty simple formula.”
Westerman says schools should know better. He says there’s been plenty of research on how best to successfully teach kids with Dyslexia.
Dr. Gina Forchelli with MassGeneral Hospital says, “Our public school systems are failing children with Dyslexia at this current moment.”
Experts on the panel didn’t have one solution but called this a crisis, stressing the lifelong condition not only impacts kids at school but also adults at work.
The group also took the conversation from schools and the workplace to the prison system, where more than half the population is considered dyslexic.