By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Sunday afternoon at the Lubbock's Scottish Rite Learning Center 109 students across West Texas graduated from dyslexia programs and another 14 teachers graduated to be dyslexic therapists to help students overcome the learning disability.
People with dyslexia have a hard time reading, spelling, and decoding words. One in five people are affected by dyslexia, and although there is no cure for it, the graduation at Scottish Rite Learning Center proves students CAN beat the serious disability.
Jonah Lyford, 16, is living proof. He would often have trouble understanding instructions and get frustrated while trying to do assignments. "I would do the wrong thing, and I'm like I DON'T KNOW, so that was my biggest struggle with all my dyslexia," said Jonah.
As with many dyslexic students, their frustrations and failure to not follow directions was misunderstood as not behaving. "You thought he was being disobedient by not following after you repeated your instructions three times, but you just have to be patient," said Jonah's father Conrad Lyford.
Jonah's parents realized he wasn't doing well in school, and since there was no dyslexia program at the there, they pulled him out and began teaching him at home. "We made sure he got the information but it was taking so long and we were working many, many hours every day. I knew he needed more help," said his mother Vicki Lyford.
They enrolled Jonah into the Scottish Learning Center where he was paired with a dyslexia therapist. "Some of them come and they're beat down and they have a low self esteem, and they end up leaving knowing they're smart, they're bright, and they have a future," said Scottish Rite Learning Center director and Jonah's personal dyslexia therapist Linda Stringer.
Stringer said many students with the disability would rather get into trouble than let other classmates know they're having problems. "Boys usually misbehave, while girls withdraw themselves so they're unnoticed rather than letting their peers see they can't read," said Stringer.
Programs at the Scottish Rite center help those students learn the information in different ways. Through activities that teach repetition and structure, many of the students are able to control their dyslexia. "Right now I'm going as fast as everyone else in the public schools so that really makes me happy," said Jonah.
After a little more than two years, Jonah graduated with the other 108 students Sunday. "It's amazing when you can see your child over come something like that," said Vicki holding back tears.
Programs at the Scottish Rite center are free to students, but there are tuition fees for teachers seeking degrees in dyslexia therapy. Dyslexia is a very serious learning disability and to find out more about the Scottish Rite Learning Center click here.
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