How i didn’t learn to read

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I’m a child and this is how I learnt to read or you could say how I didn’t.

When you think about giftedness you think that reading would be like a first sense, but it’s not. I didn’t learn the way the school teaches, here’s the summary:

Teacher: “Here kids this is how to pronounce the alphabet, now go read.”

Me (in my head): “teacher, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, that was so vague TEACH ME!”

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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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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!

In first person: how does #dyslexia affect your relationship to language?

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The Oxford Dictionary invited three guest contributors to explain, in their own unedited words, how their experiences of dyslexia affect their relationship with language. It’s an interesting question–and the answers may surprise you.

Quotable quotes:

I feel like perhaps people think I have a limited vocabulary, but I don’t, I just stumble and can’t use the words I want to…It’s an invisible problem that people don’t fully understand, a constant exhausting struggle.” ~Alex Gray

“I realised that I’m better at other thing rather then reading writing and spelling which I still to this day struggle with massively but I’m figuring stuff out…This learning differculty isn’t something people should be ashamed of I’m proud of my dyslexia because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.”~Anthony Rayner

“I never had any of my work put on the wall, I did terribly in spelling tests, it took me a long time to learn to read…Ultimately I am fortunate. I love language. I love reading.”~Liz Massie

Read the article here:

https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/10/dyslexia/

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.

A huge first! National dyslexia conference for parents, families and educators in Canada

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Take note: the first national dyslexia conference in Canada is taking place on Saturday, November 12th in Toronto.

This feels like the beginning of much-needed change for dyslexic students in Canada. Our national broadcaster, the CBC, did this excellent piece on the woeful lack of support for dyslexic students in Canada.

Kudos to the many volunteers involved in organizing the conference, and raising awareness: The International Dyslexia Association Ontario Branch, Decoding Dyslexia Ontario and Dyslexia Canada.

See you in November!

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