Why our schools need to say dyslexia

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Me at three.

I remember this day clearly. I insisted on dressing myself. Mismatched mittens and wrongly buttoned sweater — it didn’t matter. I was pleased with the results. My father took this photo, a celebration of his fiercely independent child.

Me at three.

Happy, free, loved, accepted.

My life before school. At home with a mom and dad who let me be me.

All that changed, I changed, when I entered the Ontario school system.

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My #dyslexia story. Something lost. Something found.

I was identified as dyslexic at the age of 49. It was like finding the missing piece of an unfinished puzzle. Finally, my life made sense. In the days that followed, I did what I always do: I wrote it out. Then, I published my story on my book blog Lost and Found Books.

Here is my dyslexia story. Something lost, something found. Continue reading

Summer reading

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The Dyslexic Library is on vacation, and we’re reading:

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Relish: My life in the kitchen (2013) – – graphic novel by Lucy Knisley – our number one pick of the summer!!! – tells the story of a woman’s (the author) life, and lessons learned about food, cooking and life – she was raised in a very foodie environment and grew up to take a completely different path – includes recipes – beautiful illustrations and beautiful story – recommended for teenagers and adults – writer has web comic (Review by SH & AMB) Continue reading

2017: It’s time for change!

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As a parent, I struggle daily to ensure my daughter gets the help she needs to learn and be happy at school. Some days I succeed, other days are a miserable failure. It hurts to see her suffer needlessly.

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Photo essay: Understanding dyslexia—the first Canadian conference

More than 200 parents, students, educators and advocates attended the first Canadian dyslexia conference on Nov. 12, 2016 in Toronto. If you missed it, here’s a chance to see what the day looked like:

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Annette Sang, a founding member of of Decoding Dyslexia Ontario and Elaine Keenan, president of the Ontario Branch – International Dyslexia Association, set the tone for the day with a powerful opening statement: “It’s a human right to learn to read.”

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My dyslexic journey: Personal reflections on Canada’s first dyslexia conference

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This is the sign, along with an army of volunteers, that greeted me at the first Canadian conference on dyslexia in Toronto last weekend.

It’s not everyday you get to be part of a historic “first”, especially when it involves a topic that is near and dear to your heart. I was not alone; the sense of urgency was tangible at this sold-out event.

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Support children with dyslexia: Sign the petition!

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With early identification and effective teaching, dyslexic children can learn to read and succeed at school. Without it, they suffer the stress and shame that comes with struggling to read and write. Without it, they won’t reach their full potential.

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New video: Faces of dyslexia

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After spending most of my life living in the shadow of undiagnosed dyslexia, I am starting to feel really hopeful about increasing dyslexia awareness and support in Canada.

This–the first–video by Decoding Dyslexia Ontario is a sign of the changing times:

“These are the faces and wise words of some of our young people in Ontario who are spreading the word about dyslexia and helping us understand what we can do to help them succeed in school and in life.” ~Decoding Dyslexia Ontario
Take a look at the inspiring faces of dyslexia in Ontario, Canada. And share!

Campaign: Helping your child, and you, #BeUnderstood

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Understood.org is a helpful and trusted source of information about learning and attention issues. Their website is full of easy to use, helpful tools and resources created by experts.

In September 2016, just in time for back-to-school, they launched a public service campaign called “Two Sides”. The goal is to help parents identify and understand their child’s learning disability:

“It’s no accident this campaign is launching early in the school year. As schoolwork ramps up for kids, signs of learning and attention issues can become more noticeable. The goal of the campaign is to help parents understand these signs so they can seek out the right support for their kids.”~Understood.org

See the campaign

Does any of this sound familiar? 🙂

 

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Study: Dyslexia-related gaps can appear by first grade

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No surprise for parents of children with dyslexia: researchers have found that academic gaps related to dyslexia can show up years before children traditionally are expected to read. The evidence shows the need to identify and provide reading programs for children at risk for dyslexia.

Summary

Achievement Gap in Reading Is Present as Early as First Grade and Persists through Adolescence, Journal of Pediatrics, November 2015.

Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, co-directors of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, lead the study, called the Connecticut Longitudinal Study, on the emergence and effects of reading disabilities.

They followed 414 participants over 33 years, from 1st to 12th grade, and found that:

“The achievement gap between typical and dyslexic readers is evident as early as first grade, and this gap persists into adolescence. These findings provide strong evidence and impetus for early identification of and intervention for young children at risk for dyslexia. Implementing effective reading programs as early as kindergarten or even preschool offers the potential to close the achievement gap.”

The study identified specific signs of dyslexia, such as young children mispronouncing words, having difficulty learning the names of letters in the alphabet, or being unable to find an object that starts with a particular sound (source: Sarah Sparks, Education Week blog).

Read the study

Direct link to the study here.

More information

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity: Check out their wonderful website for educators, students, parents, and dyslexics of all ages.