The walls at The Reading Group have been adorned with the works of local artist Phyllis Rash Hughes. Ms. Hughes, whose talents go far beyond the multi art mediums she uses, is also a world champion table tennis player and master gardener. We’re fortunate she has chosen to share her beautiful artworks with us.
One of our wonderfully supportive parents directed my attention to the following article on dyslexia that appeared in the April 2, 2013 edition of the Wall Street Journal. Check it out! J. Bell, Executive Director…
Dyslexia Workarounds: Creativity Without a Lot of Reading
•Join us on Saturday, April 6th, from 9:00-Noon for:
Ready.Set.GROW! will take place on April 6th at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, IL. If you have a child in your family birth to age six, this event is for you! Showcasing information, education and services for families in Champaign County, you will find a wide vareity of information to enhance your child’s early development years. Dozens of local vendors and service providers will be on hand. This is a family-friendly event that you don’t want to miss. Ready.Set.GROW! – Planting seeds for healthy child development from birth to age 6.
•Also, join us for the Summer Enrichment Extravaganza on April 16th from 6:30-8:00 at the Champaign Public Library in Robeson Pavilion Rooms A, B, and C. This is a community-wide youth programming resource fair. There will be representatives from campus and community organizations to showcase summer activities, enrichment, and learning for youth in grades preK-12.
The Reading Group is pleased to announce the addition of a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) to our staff. Mary Kubalanza is available to work with students who need support in the areas of articulation, language development, and literacy. She received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in Psychology and Education in 2007 and an M.A. from the University of Illinois in Speech-Language Pathology in 2012. She is also currently working on a PhD. in Speech and Hearing Science at the U of I. Please call our office at 217-351-9144 for more information and/or to schedule an appointment with Mary.The following Letter to the Editor appeared in The News-Gazette on January 5, 2013
The following Letter to the Editor appeared in The News-Gazette on January 5, 2013
“Tackle Learning Disabilities With Support From Experts”
I write in response to the Dec. 26
Dear Abby column in which a 13-year-
old girl from Urbana asked Abby for
advice on what to do about the fact that
her father had told her to teach her
brother to read.
Part of the problem was that the sis-
ter thought her brother had a learning
disability, and she didn’t know how to
take on this responsibility.
Abby did a very nice job of address-
ing both the father’s issue(s) and the
educational concern. I would like to
underscore Abby’s advice about seek-
ing assistance for the brother’s reading
difficulty from a teacher with special-
ized training (and not expecting the sis-
ter to fill this role).
The words “learning disability” cov-
er a wide range of learning difficulties
and require someone with expertise
and experience to appropriately diag-
nose and provide effective interven-
tion – with appropriate diagnosis and
effective intervention being the key
terms. The child’s classroom teacher
and school support team are always the
best places to start. However, as well-
meaning and skilled as teachers are,
they do not always have the necessary
expertise in working with students who
have some of these challenging learning
Many children, especially those with
dyslexia (a specific learning disability),
can be overlooked or inadequately sup-
ported. I would encourage parents who
suspect their child has a learning dis-
ability, and their teachers, to seek fur-
ther information and support for these
children. This isn’t the time to pass this
responsibility on to our children.
The Reading Group
Bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus Formed
May 16, 2012
Two prominent members of the U.S. Congress have formed the congressional Dyslexia
caucus in the House of Representatives to raise awareness of dyslexia and help foster
policy change for people with dyslexia. The caucus was formed by Rep. Bill Cassidy
(LA-06) and Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13). As parents of children working to triumph over
dyslexia, they are acutely aware of the many hurdles they must overcome to reach their
full potential. The caucus has no specific legislative agenda at this time, but seeks
to work across party lines to educate members and the public about dyslexia and to
identify policies that will support dyslexic individuals as they pursue educational
and career opportunities.
“As parents of children with dyslexia, we understand firsthand the struggle that
millions of Americans with the condition face as they try to reach their full
potential. Dyslexia can be remediated with good education, but it is a persistent,
lifelong challenge. This is not, and should not be, a Democratic or Republican issue.
Prompted by concerns about our own children and our constituents’ children, we set out
to learn as much as we could about dyslexia and were amazed at how much is known and
yet, far too often, not incorporated into policy. As a result, we’ve formed the
bipartisan congressional Dyslexia Caucus to educate other Members of Congress and
advance policies to break down barriers faced by dyslexics.”
Dyslexia affects as many as 10 million children in the United States – boys and girls
from all ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic regions of our country. The day-to-day
concerns of families with a dyslexic child are considerable. We have both heard from
constituents about schools ignoring or failing to make or accept the diagnosis of
dyslexia or to provide proven, effective reading instruction.
Parents have shared their frustration: They have been told my daughter was too bright
to be dyslexic; my child’s school doesn’t believe in dyslexia; I am fighting to have
an evaluation for my child. Dyslexics pay a high price for the ignorance surrounding
them in our educational system.
The roots of dyslexia lie in a difficulty getting to the basic sounds of spoken words.
As a result, a child trying to retrieve a word will pull up a sound that is very
similar or just say a string of uhms. For example, someone wanting to point out the
Cloisters Museum might say, “Oh, look at the oysters museum.” The frustrating thing is
the person knows the word but just cannot reach in and come up with the correct sound.
This leads to spelling problems, affects the ability to read and makes learning a
foreign language a daunting task. Imagine you are a young person, especially one who
has not been properly diagnosed, struggling to read in front of classmates who giggle
and smirk with each mispronunciation. As your classmates progress to reading smoothly
and automatically, your reading remains trying, tiring and slow. While peers are
having fun on the playground, you stay back in class finishing up your work.
The challenges facing people with dyslexia do not end in grade school. Our children’s
futures are often dictated by performance on high-stakes exams. On tests, dyslexia
robs a person of time because that person cannot quickly recognize words. Fortunately,
with accommodations such as extra time, dyslexics can complete tests and have the
results reflect their knowledge and aptitude, rather than their condition.
Testing accommodations are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Unfortunately, many testing companies routinely ignore diagnoses of dyslexia and
refuse to offer accommodations. We have heard numerous examples of bright, hardworking
dyslexic young men and women who, with accommodations, have succeeded in school only
to be stopped in their tracks because they’re refused accommodations on tests. This
has to stop.