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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Page: 13601


Mr PYNE (SturtManager of Opposition Business) (13:48): I rise to note World Dyslexia Day on 26 October 2011. Many dyslexia groups marked that day across Australia. Most members will know that dyslexia is a neurological impairment and language based learning difficulty. I have a particular interest in dyslexia and the attempts by all governments to ameliorate the impacts of dyslexia, particularly on young people.

My father was the founding vice-president of the Specific Education Learning Difficulties Association in South Australia in the early 1970s, and was made Father of the Year in 1976 for his work with dyslexic children as an eye surgeon. My brother is dyslexic and two of my four children have dyslexia, so I have a particular interest in dyslexia.

It is a terrific thing that in the last 20 to 30 years children who might otherwise have simply been treated as difficult children have now been properly diagnosed and get the support they need from teaching staff and special education staff to be able to achieve just as much as anybody else in schooling. It is why the opposition at the last election proposed that the education tax rebate extend to all the costs associated with special education, including dyslexia, and it is why our policy also requires the state governments to come up with a nationwide definition of disabilities, including dyslexia, so that we can stop children falling between the cracks. (Time expired)