Advocacy

One of the goals of Decatur Dyslexia Network is to advocate for children with dyslexia in our community. We promote awareness about the nature of dyslexia and its challenges.

I need help … im alone… no one cares…im sad…. alone… crying… sad… sick of school.. stupid… parents dont care…. im worthless … :'(
—post from a Facebook dyslexia group

We want to share with parents and educators the great news…these kids make tremendous educational strides when they get the right kind of teaching. Instead of struggling to keep up, or getting further and further behind every year, these kids can become confident, independent learners who go on to thrive in college and in demanding careers.

In the Community

We’re reaching out to Decatur parents whose kids are struggling in school with no obvious reason. We want to make it easier for them to find answers. Share this web site with your friends. The earlier a child gets help, the faster she will learn. The ideal “window” for remediating dyslexia is up until age ten. As they get older, it takes more time. Listen to your instincts. Don’t wait to “see what happens.”

I was diagnosed very young and was told I would never graduate high school. Well, I have news for the person who told me that! Not only did I graduate high school but I graduated in the Top Third of my class with honors!!!!! And to add to that, I went on to college and got my Associate’s degree, graduated from there and am now going for my Bachelor’s at the second toughest school in the state … I could possibly graduate as early as next Spring!!!!! How about them apples? You don’t have any idea how badly I want to go back to the person who said I wouldn’t graduate high school and tell him all this!!!
—post from a Facebook dyslexia group

In the Schools

We’re reaching out to schools to spread the word. There really is such a thing as dyslexia. In 2009 the Georgia Department of Education did a 4-part “Elluminate” web presentation series about the identification and remediation of dyslexia in Georgia schools.

There is visual evidence of dyslexia. Functional MRI images show a difference in the brains of strong readers versus dyslexic readers (Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.). These MRI images also show that, over time, the right kind of instruction can actually change the way the brain reads, leading to stronger, more capable readers. This is amazing news for kids and adults who’ve been told that they’re lazy or dumb, that they don’t pay attention, that they eat too much sugar so they can’t concentrate.

Early Identification

If a car is stuck on the train tracks, we don’t wait until the train hits it, right? It’s better to prevent the trainwreck.

There are very effective, science-based programs and techniques to help dyslexic kids (and even adults). Instead of waiting until serious learning problems appear, these kids can be identified in kindergarten and get on track before they ever fall behind. Dyslexic kids need a different kind of teaching. They don’t need slower or more repetitious teaching (or traditional tutoring)…it won’t work.

Exactully, I tell them what it is and they just go sure whatever you just are 2 lazy 2 learn to my face, my teacher even did it to me!!!!!!!
—post from a Facebook dyslexia group

What would we love to see in our schools? We hope for early identification and better access to the specific kinds of teaching that dyslexic kids need. Decatur schools have shown progress in this area, providing more assessment, more intensive phonics instruction and standards-based report cards. We also hope for schools that are proactive and candid about helping these bright, creative kids reach their potential, which is often masked by the struggles they exhibit in everyday classwork. We hope it will become easier for parents to understand the process involved in getting the right kind of learning for their kids.

Advocating for Your Child

Our group can link you with information to help you learn how to advocate for your child. This web site offers many resources you might need, and it highlights some of our own personal experiences dealing with dyslexia. Read our stories… If your child is really struggling and showing little progress, you might also choose to work with an education advocate to guide your interactions with your school. Read more about advocates…