“Everyone of us has had to break down doors…To be able to read and to spell is the key to life. And as opposed to breaking down these doors, we could just unlock them.” ~Dr. Tim Odegard
Thank you to Dr. Tim Odegard for his spot-on commentary for Dyslexia Awareness Month.
Dr. Odegard is the Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies at the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia.
He is also dyslexic and his perspective greatly enriches the discussion around dyslexia and the need for effective reading instruction. In his knock out YouTube video he explains why we need you to listen, learn and help to make lasting change in the lives of dyslexic children and adults.
I’ve summarized the three main points here, but I hope you’ll watch the entire 3.5 minute video (below):
1. Listen to us:
“No one once reached out to ask me what it’s like to be dyslexic; what it was like to grow up and struggle to read and spell; to go into school every day knowing that it would be a challenge. I don’t know, does anyone out there ask those kids out there that have dyslexia what’s it like to do? That’s it’s hard?”
2. Learn about the barriers we face:
And why we need to respect all dyslexic voices:
“We have some very supportive people that speak on our behalf; they are millionaires, billionares, award winning actors and actresses. You know what? I am grateful that they speak out and share their voice; they will be the first ones to tell you that they’re the exceptions. That most of us are just struggling day by day to get through life. And that’s what we do.
What we all have in common is that each of us knows the struggles of going into school and failing everyday of your life; and going into work and being presented with challenges that require us to read and to spell every day of our lives — and that means that everyone of us has had to break down doors.”
3. Help us create real change:
- support dyslexia advocacy
- share your voice, share your story
- advocate for effective reading instruction
“It doesn’t have to be this hard. Scientists and researchers have identified effective means of going about and educating every child to read and spell…
That is the key. To be able to read and to spell, is the key to life. And as opposed to breaking down these doors, we could just unlock them.”