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COLUMBUS, Miss.-- October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Mississippi University for Women is serving clients virtually.

The most common reason a child will struggle with reading and spelling is dyslexia. The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.

“During this pandemic, parents have the opportunity to observe their child’s reading and spelling more than ever as they help with schoolwork at home,” said Lynn Hanson, speech-language pathologist and clinic director at The W.

According to Hanson, reading problems can have several different causes. One reason children might struggle to learn to read is an oral language problem. In this case, children have a deficit in receptive and/or expressive language skills that makes it difficult to understand the concepts involved with learning to read. Other children may be able to read fluently and accurately, but not comprehend the meaning. This would be considered a specific deficit in reading comprehension. The third and most common reason is dyslexia.

“Up to 15-20% of the population as a whole may have symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, weak spelling and poor writing,” said Hanson. “Not all will qualify for special education, but most benefit from systematic, explicit instruction in reading, writing and language.”  

Hanson points out that early detection and intervention are very important. Many cases are missed due to children finding ways to cope with their dyslexia until the reading demands become greater in third grade.

Graduate students in the department of speech-language pathology at The W are currently serving clients with dyslexia through teletherapy. They are using the application Whizzimo to provide structured literacy intervention to clients multiple times a week via zoom. A certified speech-language pathology supervisor hosts the sessions and is available to provide support and feedback.

The W Speech & Hearing Center offers evidence-based intervention and evaluations for both children and adults with dyslexia. For more information about evaluations or treatment for dyslexia, please contact the Speech and Hearing Center at (662) 329-7270.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 27, 2020
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7683
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