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Columbus, MS: One in 5 kids have dyslexia; "early intervention, treatment" needed

July 20, 2023, WCBI, Columbus, MS: Dyslexia Summit brings together educators, parents, professionals

It is estimated that one in five children suffers from dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects reading, writing, and spelling.

Finding ways to help those children was the topic of a summit in Tupelo.

For Dr. Melissa Thomas, finding ways to help kids with dyslexia succeed is crucial. As principal of Tupelo High School, she wants every student to reach his or her full potential. She also has a personal stake.

“I have two young ladies, daughters, who are 12 and 10, both are dyslexic and we are learning as we go,” Thomas said.

Thomas was one of the speakers during the Dyslexia Summit, organized by Tupelo’s Regional Rehab Center to inform educators, parents, and healthcare professionals.

“Just being aware and knowing what to look for, identifying those students early, and getting them the help they need, accommodating them and providing modifications as early as possible to help them become more confident, more skills-based and more successful,” Thomas said.

Early intervention and treatment for children with dyslexia is a community effort. The RRC offers dyslexia therapy, at no cost to clients. They have even been able to increase the number of therapists, but the need is still great.

“We still have a year wait for therapy and in seeing that we started talking to individuals about having a program, making a bigger impact, and helping those on our waiting list that might need more information, that’s how this kind of birthed,” said Robby Parman, with the RRC.

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