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Hawaii Department of Education and Dyslexia Legislation

Did you know that there is a higher rate of dyslexia in Hawaii?

Genetic research makes a link between genes and dyslexia, and Hawaiians may have a higher rate.

Gruen and his team found that dopamine-related genes ANKK1 and DRD2 are involved in language processing. In further non-genetic studies, they found that prenatal exposure to nicotine has a strong negative affect on both reading and language processing. They had also previously found that a gene called DCDC2 was linked to dyslexia.

In this new study, Gruen and colleagues looked deeper within the DCDC2 gene to pinpoint the specific parts of the gene that are responsible for dyslexia and language impairment. They found that some variants of a gene regulator called READ1 (regulatory element associated with dyslexia1) within the DCDC2 gene are associated with problems in reading performance while other variants are strongly associated with problems in verbal language performance.

Gruen said these variants interact with a second dyslexia risk gene called KIAA0319. “When you have risk variants in both READ1 and KIAA0319, it can have a multiplier effect on measures of reading and language,” he said. “People who have these variants have a substantially increased likelihood of developing dyslexia or language impairment.”

Facts and Statistics

  • It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia

  • Over 40 million American Adults are dyslexic – and only 2 million know it

  • Dyslexia is not tied to IQ – Einstein was dyslexic and had an estimated IQ of 160

  • Dyslexia is not just about getting letters or numbers mixed up or out of order

  • 80% of people associate dyslexia with some form of retardation – this is not true

  • Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability or disorder that includes poor word reading, word decoding, oral reading fluency, and spelling

  • Dyslexia occurs in people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels

  • Dyslexia has nothing to do with not working hard enough

  • 20% of school-aged children in the US are dyslexic

  • With appropriate teaching methods, dyslexia can learn successfully

  • Over 50% of NASA employees are dyslexic

  • Dyslexia runs in families; parents with dyslexia are very likely to have children with dyslexia

  • Dyslexics may struggle with organizational skills, planning and prioritizing, keeping time, concentrating with background noise.

Comprehensive Plan for Teaching Reading in Hawai‘i Schools

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