According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 15% of the U.S. population has significant difficulty learning to read. That includes those with dyslexia, which some say isn't properly recognized by many schools. But some Neosho-area teachers hope to change that for their students.
Teachers in Newton County are working towards better reading between the lines.
"It's perception of how they look at the world," says Terry Osborne. Osborne has a son, two grandchildren, and a nephew who all have dyslexia. She remembers a specific learning curve with her nephew.
"He never saw the left side of the paper," says Osborne.
Dyslexia can affect how a person recognizes words.
"A week later, he could use the whole paper," says Osborne.
Osborne says a program called Davis Learning Strategies helped her family better cope with their challenges.
"We need to get this into the hands of teachers so they can introduce the strategies to children at a young age," says Kristi Brown, an instructor with the class.
Brown is teaching kindergarten through third grade teachers how to recognize learning difficulties that may point to dyslexia. Children with dyslexia can strictly associate words with pictures.
"They will skip or miss the little words, like a, on, the, an, because they don't picture those things," says Brown.
So Brown is teaching ways to help children better concentrate and focus on even the little things. It can be fun, like passing a ball back and forth while standing on one foot. If you're thinking to yourself, this type of strategy can help any child---that's the point.
"It becomes a part of them. It becomes a part of their thought process," says Brown.
Osborne paid for the teachers to go through this class, believing it reinforces for teachers and students that there are tough challenges in life that require a lot of extra thinking. But it's important to cope and succeed.
Osborne says, "It's a significant different for any student. So if you can just change one student, it's worth it. But if you change a whole classroom, or a grade..."
...It's a better future for all.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas