What students with dyslexia want you to know

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The student panel at the 2016 dyslexia conference in Toronto blew the audience away with their eloquent and inspiring presentation (if Richard Branson is looking for future executives, look no further!). By sharing their stories, they are helping to empower a generation of children and youth. Thank you! Continue reading

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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Top 10 Halloween costumes for dyslexics

Halloween is here! If you’re dyslexic, you’re in luck. There are lots of great costumes you can wear to celebrate your dyslexic strengths and honour your dyslexic heroes.

1. Super hero. Dress up as yourself!! Unpack your cape and tights, and unleash your incredible dyslexic super powers: brave, resilient, persistent, creative, super smart, change makers. Continue reading

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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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.