Dyslexia Awareness Month

Dyslexia Awareness Month
Posted on 10/07/2022
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October is Dyslexia Awareness Month in the United States. While dyslexia is often thought to be a physical disorder, it is actually a learning impairment that causes problems with writing, reading, and spelling. The intelligence of dyslexic people is unaffected. This misunderstanding of the condition leads to stigmas, which Dyslexia Awareness Month aims to eradicate.  DeSoto ISD will host a dyslexia parent meeting on Tuesday, October 18.  Parents who know or think their student is dealing with dyslexia and community members who want to learn how to help are invited to join this virtual meeting.

History of Dyslexia

In 1877, German neurologist Adolf Kussmaul was the first to identify a phenomenon called ‘word blindness.’ And 10 years later, a German physician coined the term ‘dyslexia’ to describe difficulties in reading. Over the years, countless studies have researched dyslexia, concluding it isn’t a disability at all, but those with it think differently. In 2002, M.R.I.s done by professionals at Yale University found that the brains of people with dyslexia worked differently as compared to those without. In 2005, a gene related to dyslexia was discovered by the team working at Yale. (source National Today website https://nationaltoday.com/dyslexia-awareness-month)


District Impact

There are currently about 150 students in DeSoto ISD diagnosed with dyslexia, who are adjusting, learning, and growing using the tools that allow them to manage this challenge.

 One female sixth grade student at West Middle School who started the program in 3rd grade wasn’t interested in participating initially but proceeded to become very successful in retaining and transferring the coding concepts and spelling rules.  The result was an increase in her reading fluency as well as an improvement with her spelling skills. She was applying what she had learned to her ELAR classes as well.  As a middle school student, she has continued to retain what was previously taught and keeps improving as new skills are being presented to her, and has been able to apply what she has learned across all content areas. 


Another male seventh grade student at McCowan Middle School was placed in the Language Science class last year for his reading difficulties.  He worked very hard at learning to phonetically code words and started to see words as clusters of letters that make a sound as opposed to individual letters making one sound.  He improved quickly, was successful with his state assessment, and is now ready to be placed as a monitored student who loves attending his English class. 


Tips for Parents

*Remember every child learns in their own unique ways

* Multisensory learning has proven to produce optimal success.  Reinforcing the pathways of the body to get to the brain is the most ideal way to learn. 

*Think outside the box-create a video for an assignment instead of writing, use speech to text software, draw notes, and take advantage of apps such as Learning Ally for audiobook access

*Be proactive-check with the classroom teacher/counselor for updates in regards to the child’s accommodations and be sure your CHILD is aware of what they are as well. 


Diagnosing Dyslexia

*Contact the school counselor for the referral paperwork needed. 

*The campus diagnostician will evaluate the child and look for other possible deficits.

*Link for characteristic of dyslexia





*Famous people with dyslexia and its definition


*Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz


Link for Parent Meeting on Tuesday, October 18