Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

New support for dyslexic kids


For most kids, reading is fun and connects them to new learning. Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it hard to ‘sound out’ words. Kids with dyslexia often have a hard time recognizing the different sounds that make up words and the letters that go with them. Reading is slow and challenging rather than smooth and automatic.

“The good news is that screening tools can reliably identify reading difficulties at an early age and there are effective interventions,” says Dr. Julie Perkins Quamma, Director of the LEARN Clinic at the University of Washington. Evidence-based reading intervention is critical for children who struggle with reading.”

Despite the 48,000 children in Washington diagnosed with a learning disability, best practices for teaching students with dyslexia have not been standardized in the classroom.

But there’s hope. In 2018, Washington passed a bill to standardize the process for dyslexia screening and early intervention. Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, each school district will be required to provide evidence-based reading instruction to students in kindergarten through second grade who show early signs of dyslexia.  Learn more at

Related: How one family made reading more fun for their son with special needs.