As many of you know the Dyslexia law is now officially in effect in our state. I spent the summer with the help of Shawnda Majors, Tammy Benson, and several other members of the University of Central Arkansas College of Education staff working to educate professionals not only on Dyslexia but also what they can do to help these children. We trained on how to administer and interpret Level 2 Screening/Assessments. We discussed the specific stages of reading development and things teachers can begin doing immediately to promote success in their classrooms. We had a great turn out but the best is the continued dialogue with these professionals now that the school year has started.
One other amazing thing we did this summer was a free Dyslexia screening and community awareness seminar in El Dorado, Arkansas. We had an incredible turnout and have decided to have a repeat performance in October. What better way to celebrate the gifts of Dyslexia then to help identify children exhibiting characteristics and provide training for professionals and awareness and education for parents.
Sure we have a long way to go and some days it feels as if we are fighting a loosing battle. Like most things as awareness spreads more and more people seek help. This is wonderful but has also led many people to shy away from saying DYSLEXIA. What I want people to know is that no matter what you call it, Dyslexia, Reading Disability, Specific Learning Disability the "symptoms" are all the same....the individual is NOT performing at a level consistent with their age, grade, or cognitive ability in the area of reading and writing. The good news is that a label doesn't change the fact that sound teaching based in scientific research will yield positive results for EVERY child. Just think if we embrace this change, stop fighting it and simply #saydyslexia, we won't only be helping children with Dyslexia but ALL CHILDREN. There should never be a reason why 60% of the children in your state are not reading on grade level.
So this October which is Dyslexia Awareness month #saydyslexia because if we start saying it we will discover all the gifts it brings and maybe won't be so fearful of the challenge these children face learning to read and write. Thank you to all the parents and professionals who have selflessly joined our efforts. If you would like take a minute and share your story of your fabulously unique 1 in 5!!!