Dyslexia: Common Childhood Disability Can be Treated
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Fifteen to 20 percent of the US population has dyslexia, a disability that can significantly hinder an individual’s academic performance, which can, in turn, have a negative emotional impact. While there isn’t a cure, children and adults with the disability can be helped with the appropriate diagnosis and treatment program.
Penny Stack, owner of a Tulsa franchise of The Dyslexia Institutes of America (DIA), offers local parents and their children a safe, judgment-free environment to receive accurate diagnoses and opportunities to participate in programs geared toward helping individuals with dyslexia reach their maximum potential.
“What we do is work on that part of the brain that was not [fully] developed when they [those with dyslexia] were in utero and developing,” Stack began. “We develop these neuro-pathways, kind of like a highway transportation system, if you will, and we make those areas stronger. Through that process, we’re able to narrow the gap between ability and performance.”
Stack explained that DIA tests for the dyslexic individual’s IQ, auditory and visual short/long-term memory, visual perception, and visual motor skills through standardized testing and therapy.
“Everything we do is objectively measured,” Stack said. “[During the program], at the end of every month we reassess the entire treatment plan to make sure they’re on track.”
Stack went on to say that parents are provided a visual to show their child’s progress, something she knows takes dedication and time, but pays off in the end.
Programs can last anywhere from one to three years, depending on the severity of the child’s dyslexia. The institute also works with area schools. This collaborative effort between the institute and teachers/staff at the child’s school is beneficial for both the student and the parent, for they go over test results and discuss strategic learning styles that will help the student progress.
Stack says there are many myths about dyslexia as well as different types and severity of the disability. A proper diagnosis is important.
Stack has an 11-year-old daughter who has dyslexia and explained that opening the franchise in Tulsa is something she felt was needed in this community.
“It was my own personal journey, needing to provide some services for my own child,” Stack said.