Speech Path

COLUMBUS, Miss. – While National Dyslexia Awareness Month may be coming to an end, the Speech and Hearing Center at Mississippi University for Women is working to ensure the rights of individuals with dyslexia do not.

“Dyslexia occurs in one of five individuals and it’s likely that one has friends or family members that are affected by this common learning disability,” said Lynn Hanson, instructor of speech and language pathology at The W. “When individuals with dyslexia are denied their basic rights, their educational, occupational and emotional lives are adversely affected.”

Dyslexia is a common reason why children struggle with spelling, writing and reading. The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as a specific learning disability that is neurobiological and characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition and spelling. The root cause of these difficulties is a deficit in the phonological component of language that can be identified with a 92 percent accuracy between the ages of 5 and a half and 6 and a half years old.

While dyslexia has many misconceptions, such as children who have dyslexia see backwards and have a low IQ, dyslexia is not a vision problem, does not relate to IQ and has no age limits on treatment.

“Students deserve recognition of their strengths as well as instructional support to address their weaknesses. Every effort should be made to boost their self-esteem through activities that do not require reading, writing and spelling,” said Hanson. “Teachers should ensure that students are in a safe environment, free from bullying and teasing about their deficits.”

When clients are evaluated through the MUW Speech and Hearing Center, they are given lists of accommodations that could help them be more successful in accessing the regular education curriculum while they work to improve their reading, spelling and writing skills. Accommodations are fair and help level the playing field for these students. Students may also be eligible for accommodations on standardized tests such as the ACT or GRE.

The MUW Speech and Hearing Center offers evidence-based intervention and evaluations for both children and adults with dyslexia. Clients are scheduled for at least two 45-minute sessions per week.

“We are making progress toward dyslexia being recognized as an eligibility category for special services in the public schools, but we’re not there yet. Thirty years of documented research about dyslexia is available. Families are encouraged to educate themselves and serve as advocates for their family members with dyslexia,” added Hanson.

The early signs of dyslexia include delayed speech, chronic ear infections, mixing up sounds and syllables in long words and difficulty learning to tie shoes. Signs for school age children include letter or number reversals past first grade, trouble memorizing multiplication tables and slow, non-automatic handwriting that is difficult to read.

For more information about dyslexia, please contact the MUW Speech and Hearing Center at (662) 329- 7270.

Oct. 29, 2015
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863
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