Seminar gives the facts about dyslexia

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The facts about dyslexia are coming to light after a three hour seminar was held Monday night at the Nettleton Performing Arts Center.

Founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, Susan Barton, spoke to attendants about what dyslexia really is, "Many people still believe dyslexia means you see things backwards. That is the most commonly disbelief held out there. That is not true. Yes, they confuse their b's and d's. But it's not that they're seeing it backwards. It's that they're left, right confused. They often think being dyslexic means you can't read and that's not true. A person with dyslexia can read up to a point. But they will hit the wall in reading development by third grade, if not sooner."

Barton says there are a number of classic signs parents and teachers can watch out for,"No matter how smart they are, unless they're taught differently, they will not be able to get over that brick wall of reading development they all run into by third grade. But because they can all read for a while, reading is the worst way to pick it up early. A much more common symptom that everybody's aware of is difficulty with spelling. Extreme difficulty with spelling. And that shows up in kindergarten and first grade."

And Barton says no amount of studying is going to help.

"These kids can spend hours, and hours, and hours studying for Friday's spelling test and maybe do okay on it. But they can't retain their spelling words from one week to the next. They can't spell even the simplest of words when they have to write sentences or stories. And when they write, they just can't seem to remember that a sentence has to start with a capital letter. There has to be punctuation in there somewhere. And another classic sign of dyslexia is although they can read for a while, they're slow at it, they guess alot. And when they come to a word they don't know, they have extreme difficulty sounding it out. Even though they've been taught phonics."

Barton says, above all, the worst thing you can do is react slowly to the situation.

"If you know a child that has these classic warning signs, waiting is the worst thing you can do because it's not going to go away. There are research based interventions that will close the gap and bring the reading, writing, spelling skills up to grade level. But the sooner we start using them the better because the sooner we can get them back on track."

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