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January 30, 2023

Dyslexia Awareness

PDS working to 

ensure student success

By Mark H. Stowers

The Bolivar Bullet

 Walt Disney, Robin Williams, former Governor Phil Bryant and hundreds more “famous” folks were born with dyslexia. The learning disorder involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words as described by the Mayo Clinic. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and the staff at Presbyterian Day School are working to shine more of a spotlight on the learning disorder.

Amelie Goss, Certified Academic Language Therapist, spent time at Mississippi College acquiring her credentials to help students. 

“All dyslexia is, they are processing language in different parts of the brain than someone without dyslexia,” said Goss. “Your brain has to take a longer trip when reading or spelling. What dyslexia therapy does is we try to shorten those trips. We give the kids tools they need for their toolbelt to be more successful in the classroom.”

National statistics state that one out of every five people have dyslexia. 

“We all likely know someone with this language-based learning difference. Although these individuals may struggle with reading, writing, and other academic activities, dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence,” said Goss. “In fact, people with dyslexia are usually considered to have average or above-average intelligence.”

Neuroimaging studies performed nearly 20 years ago show that dyslexia can be remediated with early screening, evaluation, and evidence-based language intervention. In 2012, then Governor Bryant signed into law a bill requiring screening for dyslexia for kindergartners or first-graders to be tested. The bill has been amended over the years to include testing for more grades.

The EAGLES Program at Presbyterian Day School ensures the success of every student with the guidance of Pam Maxwell, Director of Student Services and Goss. Maxwell implements student support for all learning styles, helping to bridge the gap between each child’s ability and achievement. Goss provides dyslexia therapy services that are explicit, multisensory, and individually targeted to highlight student strengths and success.

Maxwell and Goss kicked off Dyslexia Awareness Month by attending the Mississippi Dyslexia Conference. The PDS EAGLES Program is providing the following activities to PDS students, families, and the Cleveland community during October:

Friday October 22nd and 29th: Dyslexia Journeys – Successful community members with dyslexia will share their experiences with PDS students.

Previous events include the Go Red for Dyslexia to show support for dyslexia awareness and supporting those with dyslexia. Also, there was a program held on October 19th: Defining Dyslexia with the EAGLES Program. Both Maxwell and Goss presented information on the EAGLES program, dyslexia, and dyslexia therapy services in the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary.

To learn more, visit www.dyslexiaida.org. 

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