Decoding Dyslexia Conference

Imagine, after years of thinking you were one, in a handful of parents, who had a child with dyslexia, a child who was not identified early in their educational career, a child, even with the diagnosis of dyslexia, was not provided appropriate instruction, in a room packed with parents from across the United States with whom the same experience is shared; we could have told each other’s story.  I found it oddly comforting, misery does love company, and yet energizing.  For a number of years I have tried to enlighten anyone who had an open ear about reading difficulties, suggesting that they should not wait but to advocate for their children.  I had no clue, as one individual, how to alter the seemingly never-ending circle of educational failure of so many, many children.  I could only  imagine the struggles of children who did not have parents capable of understanding their labors either because of time, resources or their unquestioning of the educators, the assumed experts.
At the very beginning of the conference I had the satisfaction that I was not alone, not by far; The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity stands not only “behind” but “with” this united group of committed parents in Decoding Dyslexia across the states with a united mission.  The concluding focus, I found, is three-pronged: educate through awareness, advocate with sharing resources and legislate for meaningful positive change.  With this blueprint and national support, I know that I am not one small voice, but a voice which is fused nationally; there are well-planned goals based on cumulative experience and expertise of world renowned authorities of dyslexia.  I have heard, first hand, successes achieved through top down, legislation, and bottom up, retelling of parallel stories, advocating for changes in our schools and districts.  I know that I can make a difference for not only our child, but we can make a difference for all children. This is not an individual family’s predicament, but society’s plight.  1 in 5, there is definitely power in numbers.
Joan Panopoulos

Education Therapist
Decoding Dyslexia IL

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