A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia. The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year. More on this topic in the first section of the report.
Next Tuesday, Nov. 14, an event will be held at the Capitol to raise awareness for World Diabetes Day. More than 747,370 Missourians suffer from the consequences of diabetes, and the cost to the state surpasses $4.8 billion annually. However, the debilitating consequences of diabetes and its cost can be mitigated with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), and Missouri is part of a national effort to provide this education to people with diabetes. More on this topic in the second section of the report.
Also, this Saturday is Veterans Day. It is a time to give thanks to those who have done so much to make our nation a shining beacon of hope for the rest of the world. We are a great nation because of the dedication, passion, and patriotism of the heroic individuals who have stood in defense of the American dream. They have risked their lives on foreign soil, spent long months away from family and friends, and helped forge peace in even the most hostile lands. It is because of their dedication and love of country that we have the many blessings we enjoy today. Happy Veterans Day.
Task Force on Dyslexia Issues Recommendations
A Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has completed its work and released recommendations for having Missouri public school students screened for dyslexia.
The task force’s report to legislative leaders and the governor recommends that all students in kindergarten through grade three be screened for dyslexia and related disorders beginning in the 2018-19 school year. It also recommends that students who have not been previously screened, and who have been identified as “struggling” in literacy, be screened.
Representative Kathy Swan, chair of the task force, said early identification of reading difficulties is key to helping children get the education they need. She added, “By identifying and addressing this reading failure, students will not only be successful in school but successful in life. If our children do not learn to read they will, and cannot, read to learn. This small investment today will have long-term benefits for not only students and families but for the economic and social benefits of our communities and for our state.”
The task force also recommends that schools require two hours of in-service training in assessing reading difficulties. Currently schools are required only to offer such training. The task force also says it is important that Missouri colleges’ and universities’ teacher education programs address dyslexia characteristics, identification, and intervention. As one task force member said, “It’s critically important that this content is delivered and infused in our teacher preparation courses at the colleges and universities in Missouri.” The final report also says the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) should recommend a process for universal screening that includes a multi-tiered support system.
The Task Force was created with the passage of House Bill 2379 in 2016.
World Diabetes Day
In recognition of World Diabetes Day, leading experts in the field of community-based diabetes health care will discuss the devastating impact of the disease on individuals, both personally and financially, as well as the significant financial costs to the state. The event is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the State Capitol.
More than 747,370 Missourians suffer from the consequences of diabetes, and the cost to the state surpasses $4.8 billion annually. Unmanaged diabetes is the cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations in adults, and a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes spend 2.3 times more on health care costs than others without the disease. African- Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as Caucasians.
However, the debilitating consequences of diabetes and its cost can be mitigated with Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), and Missouri is part of a national effort to provide this education to people with diabetes. DSMES teaches patients about, and assists them with, setting goals for proper nutrition, physical activity, regular check-ups with their physicians, glucose monitoring, and consistent medication use. DSMES training for persons with diabetes improves their health and quality of life, and helps avoid the complications of the disease. Such training can reduce the chances of the most serious consequences by 8 percent and cut the chance of dying from the disease by 2.3 percent. High-risk persons or those with pre-diabetes are 11 percent less likely to develop the disease.
Legislators in Missouri are working to bring attention to the personal costs to Missourians with diabetes as well as the cost to the state. The DSMES project is focusing on rural and underserved communities in Missouri as well as the Medicare age population. Nearly one-third of persons 65 years and older have diabetes. About 13 percent of persons age 20 and older in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.