The mission to treat dyslexia

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s one of the most common learning differences.

Nearly 10 million students live with dyslexia.

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Although dyslexia is very common, resources are still very limited.

Researchers and advocates are pushing for more awareness and ways to help those diagnosed.

Kathy Prater’s dyslexia research and knowledge stemmed from a personal connection.

It all started 11 years ago, when her son was diagnosed. He was in the third grade.

Since then, she became a research advocate at Mississippi State and the coordinator for the Ignite Dyslexia Program at the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability.

“The characteristics of dyslexia are pretty well pronounced. It affects reading, writing and spelling. It also can affect math, memory, the ability to figure out what word you want to say. It is called the word recall. Sometimes, they will just get stuck and that word won’t come out.”

Dyslexia affects 20 percent of the general population and one in five students.

“One in five sounds like a really small number, but when you think about the entire group of education students nationwide, that is 8 1/2 million children. It’s a pretty significant issue that we need to bring awareness to.”

Prater said there are some resources for students with dyslexia, but they are scarce.

“We do receive some services with the school district, but I also do home-school to help her because of the different learning difficulties that she has. It’s the best and ideal setting for her to be able to learn at her own pace,” said mother Shannah Hudson.

Hudson’s eight-year old was diagnosed with dyslexia about a year ago.

“Dyslexia is just the way the brain is wired. She is brilliant, my daughter is brilliant. She is smart. She is happy. She loves and wants to read and know what’s in books, but her brain just takes a little bit more time to get there and to understand it.”

Hudson’s daughter has been going to the T.K. Martin Center’s Dyslexia Clinic since August, and they have seen remarkable improvement in her reading skills.

Prater’s son is now a college freshman, studying to be an electrician.

“He is able to do things that are different than traditional book learning. They struggle in traditional book learning, but they exceed in many other areas. These are people like, Steven Spielberg.”

The T.K. Martin Center’s Dyslexia Clinic provides assessments and intervention for students with dyslexia.

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