CBS 4 News Special Report: Overcoming dyslexia

Dyslexia is one of the hardest learning disabilities to identify.

Dyslexia is one of the hardest learning disabilities to identify.

According to Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s dyslexia specialist Shannon Reyna, the reason is because many dyslexic students are bright.

"They find these ways to compensate, so you're not really seeing the struggles that they have," Reyna said.

Alexandra Ruelas' 6-year-old son, Charlie Medellin, struggles with dyslexia. Ruelas, like many parents of dyslexic kids, was worried for her child's future.

"Any time I would try to read something to him or show him his letters, he started flipping everything on me," Ruelas said. “I did feel a little bit...kind of helpless. How can I help my child be successful?"

"Their decoding is really a struggle," said Reyna. "That means how fluidly they read and how accurate they read is impacted. Therefore, their comprehension is also impacted."

A common misconception about dyslexia is a mix up of letters in a word, but the disorder is more complex than that.

Other identifying factors include:

  • Number reversals
  • Difficulty putting thoughts into words
  • Completely skipping over words in a sentence.

All of these factors increase with stress and pressure.

Reyna receives many calls from parents who worry that their child won't be successful. Parents who want to help their child overcome dyslexia, according to Reyna, seem to only focus on the training exercises.

While that is important, she warns parents to not neglect their interests and strengths.

"Because that will really help them carry them through," Reyna said. "Yes, interventions are great, but we don't want to alleviate all of their passions just for interventions."

If you believe your student has dyslexia, contact your local school's dyslexia specialist.

For more information about dyslexia in Texas schools, visit the Texas Education Agency's website, or the Region One Education Service Center's website.

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