Did you know there are approximately 10 million moms in America who have school-age children with dyslexia and about as many total American moms with dyslexia themselves? While it’s true there is a hereditary link, research by Dr. Fumiko Hoeft and Dr. Alberta Galaburda shows genetics (and gene discovery) is just the beginning, there are many layers and it will take a while longer to understand the genetic, environmental and complex biological mechanisms underlying reading acquisition and dyslexia.
The good news is that with early intervention and Structured Literacy approaches, moms and their children will reach their full potential and live healthy happy lives!
This week we will be sharing inspirational stories about everyday moms and their heroic commitment to providing the best instruction for their children.
Mom is a palindrome. Spelled forwards and backwards mom is a hero!
 SOURCE: Pediatrics in Review, Census.gov, nih.gov, eida.org
Learning Ally’s California-based Parent Support Specialist, Jennifer Biang, has a unique perspective to offer fellow parents. “My daughter, Violet, has dyslexia,” she says, “and I also have dyslexia.”
The good news is persistence, dedication and early intervention paid off!
Jennifer says, “The reason I do the work that I do is because getting help for a child with dyslexia doesn’t need to be as hard as it was for me, but unfortunately the right information and services are not that easy to access. With a learning difference this prevalent, it shouldn’t be so hard to get the right support.”
Liz Woody traveled more than 900 miles to find the right Structured Literacy program for her son!
In 2004, Liz Woody’s son, Mason, was in the third grade, had dyslexia and had not learned to read. She moved her family from Vero Beach to Baltimore and enrolled him in the Odyssey School. There, she discovered a different approach to reading instruction that changed Mason’s life.
Inspired by this success, Liz went back to school and earned a Masters in learning disabilities and returned to Vero Beach. There with the help of philanthropist, Ray Oglethorpe, she convinced local teachers and school to train themselves in Structured Literacy. The early results show a 10% improvement in reading scores.
In Florida, two-thirds of all fourth graders are reading below grade level. But in Vero Beach they have a new goal: have 90% of their students reading above grade level by 2018 . Click here to see the PBS Newshour report.
Pilar Parás traveled to America to find the right support for her son!
Since they began teaching the alphabet at school, Pilar’s son, Jose, had difficulties. She noticed how a once attentive and lively boy began falling behind in reading and writing. The school initially told her that Jose was a restless child and had problems concentrating and this is when her journey began. Pilar’s advice to parents: “Never let hopelessness take over, don’t give up seeking help, and always support your children. It’s important that your child is aware that this is the way they were made. As parents we can only guide our children by giving them all the resources possible to help them, and of course loving them very much.”
It started out like all of our bedtime routines do …..bath, brush teeth, jammies, and kisses. Then, it happened. Jules’ 6 year old made a statement that gave her a glimpse of her child’s world, and that shook her very soul. “My friend Lilly is super smart! She’s not in my reading group. She doesn’t have dee-lexia.” Her face dropped as she said this.
Jules Johnson is the mom of two children who have dyslexia and one of the co-founders of Decoding Dyslexia-TN. After 12 years as a broadcast meteorologist, Jules joined the Learning Ally family in 2014 to help make the world a better place for those who have print disabilities like dyslexia or visual impairment.
What sets Chelsea apart is that she is a third grade teacher just three doors down from her daughter!
Chelsea assures people that her teaching license does not shield her daughter from dyslexia. It has, however, given Chelsea a very unique outlook: one as parent and one as teacher. You would think being obsessed with reading strategies that Chelsea would have been more aware that her own child was struggling. But she was not. When Chelsea’s husband got “the call,” her child’s PreK teacher said “something” wasn’t right. It was a familiar dance.
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