Jablonski vows to fight for private member’s bill

Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski will push a little harder for her private member’s bill that would see children screened for Irlen Syndrome in schools.

Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski will push a little harder for her private member’s bill that would see children screened for Irlen Syndrome in schools.

The Irlen Syndrome Testing Act passed first reading but is likely to be defeated because of time constraints of the legislative session this week.

But Jablonski said she will push her bill again in the spring session.

“I will be bringing it back because it is a very important issue and I want to see something done about it,” said Jablonski.

“There is not a large cost to it. A child can go from feeling they are lost in the classroom to feeling they are on top of the world. That has happened to some of the kids who have been diagnosed.”

The little-known condition occurs when the brain is unable to properly filter the colour spectrum. People with the condition often wear different coloured lenses in order to read.

Under the bill, someone in the school divisions would be able to diagnose the condition. If a child is identified as potentially having Irlen Syndrome, the parents would receive information from the school on the next steps for helping their child.

Jablonski, whose nine-year-old grandson has the disorder, said the pre-screening would help improve the lives of the children inside and outside the classroom.

She said within six months of obtaining proper lenses, her grandson went from not reading at grade level to grade level.

“It’s how I learned about it and how I saw results,” said Jablonski. “The results were so incredible that I thought ‘Why aren’t we doing this for other children?’ Some studies show 10 per cent of the population is affected by Irlen’s.”

crhyno@reddeeradvocoate.com

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