Wisconsin was the most recent state to require specific support for dyslexia, a term that has been argued over for some fifty years. In part, this argument grew out of the reading wars and the issue of phonics instruction.
Some of the worries stem from a concern that if this is a diagnosed “problem”, then districts will have to pay for services. On the other hand, the Shaywitz team at the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity have demonstrated using brain scans that in children with dyslexia, neural circuits are disrupted in an area of the brain linked to skilled reading.
In 2019, the International Literacy Association published the work of Donna Scanlon, a professor of literacy at SUNY-Albany in which she argues that labeling struggling readers does not help to identify their specific learning needs or indicate what support and instruction might help them.
“The terms dyslexia and reading disability or even learning disability tend to be used interchangeably. Where do you draw the line between who is dyslexic or reading disabled or not,” said Dr. Scanlon [Education Week, 3-4-20, pp 1 and 16].
We might argue that multi-faceted reading instruction is exactly what the finest Whole Child schools exemplify.