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Northeast Florida Rep. Adkins Asks How To Better Serve Students With Dyslexia

Florida House of Representatives Website

Florida State Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) is calling for awareness of the struggles students with dyslexia face in schools.

Adkins is the chair of the K-12 Education Subcommittee in the Florida House. She has also announced she’s running for Nassau County Schools Superintendent next year.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Adkins talked about how schools can provide better teaching strategies for students with dyslexia.

Adkins says she believes this is a very serious issue that needs greater attention.

“As I’ve talked with parents and I’ve read their emails throughout the state of Florida, it’s interesting to hear their individual stories of how they’ve had to work with the school system to get the extra support that their student needs,” Adkins said.

She says many students with dyslexia are misunderstood.

“Understand that most people with dyslexia have an above average IQ,” Adkins said. “And so they’re able to mask the difficulties that they’re having.”

She says this sometimes leads people to believe students with dyslexia aren’t interested in their school work or have behavioral problems.

“Understanding the core problem is key if we’re really going to help these students reach their full potential,” Adkins said.

She says there is different learning and teaching strategies for students with dyslexia.

“Yet, a lot of times, what I hear from the moms and dads in Florida is that their child with dyslexia gets pulled into another group of students that have different needs,” Adkins said.

Adkins is holding an education symposium in Fernandina Beach in September, and she says issues concerning students with dyslexia will be an important topic of discussion.

“We always have an opportunity for the public to speak, to provide their input as to what their issues and their concerns are as it relates to our public schools,” Adkins said.

She says she believes collaboration is the best way to approach solving problems within the public school system.

Listen to the full conversation with Janet Adkins on Tuesday’s episode of the “First Coast Connect” podcast on iTunes.