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EXPERTS, politicians and parents are tempering joy with reality following a new law they hope will help those with reading difficulties.

The new law has taken away the stigma of the word ``disability'' from those with the reading difficulty of dyslexia.

They hope this opens the way for such children to benefit from the $9 million being spent to train 80 new special education teachers to start work at 265 NSW schools in 2009.

An international expert and Macquarie University academic Max Coltheart said that seven in 100 Australians had dyslexia.

No specific Sutherland Shire schools are on the list to receive the extra help.

In St George, the infants' schools at Arncliffe West, Bardwell Park and Hurstville Grove were listed.

The new teachers are to be spread across 40 nominated communities of schools, a Department of Education spokeswoman said.

``[After their induction] they will also start their 110 hours of training in the areas of autism, language and communication needs, behaviour, motor co-ordination and curriculum access and outcomes planning,'' the spokeswoman said.

Apart from helping children with dyslexia the new law aims to help children with autism, mental health problems, those with significant learning difficulties and those with a disability.

The Department of Education spokeswoman said that Sutherland Shire students with additional learning needs were supported by the department's $134 million learning assistance program.

``Students with additional, special needs in regular classes are supported by the $87 million integration, funding support program,'' she said.

A spokeswoman for Education Minister Verity Firth said that the number of teacher hours would be divided among the 265 schools.

The teachers will work across the schools with groups of local schools sharing teachers, she said.

Cronulla MP Malcolm Kerr said he supported the legislation, but added: ``I'm disappointed about the small number of schools in the St George and Sutherland Shire this doesn't do enough.''

For NSW Education Amendment Bill details click here.



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