Center School: Honoring Dyslexia Awareness Month and ADHD Awareness Month

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Mrs. Mindy Wawrzyniak, Head of School at The Center School enjoys the fall day with students.
Image via Center School.
Mrs. Mindy Wawrzyniak, Head of School enjoying the fall day with students.

Since 1989, Center School has been successfully serving students who have been diagnosed with language-based learning disabilities, primarily dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many people are unaware of exactly what dyslexia and ADHD are, often assuming it is simply reversing letters or lacking the ability to control impulses. In this month of October, which is designated as Dyslexia Awareness Month as well as ADHD Awareness Month, Center School would like to provide clarity and accuracy to these disabilities and their definitions.

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability affecting 10-20% of the population. According to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), dyslexia is “a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

What does this mean? People diagnosed with dyslexia have difficulties with reading, spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. Dyslexia is called a learning disability because it can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in a traditionally taught classroom.

While ADHD is technically not a learning disability, it does impact learning. The organization Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or CHADD, defines it as “a chronic neurodevelopmental condition that is largely genetic in nature” (Hammer, 2022). What you may not know, however, is that ADHD comes in three presentations: hyperactive-impulsive, combined, and inattentive. A child or adult with combined presentation can be described as hyperactive, impulsive, and distractible. When a child or adult has been diagnosed with inattentive type ADHD, or the other presentations, that individual has a difficult time focusing, often resulting in lost instruction (Hammer).

What you also may not know is that individuals diagnosed with dyslexia and/or ADHD are very bright and capable. They simply need to be taught differently to achieve success.

Center School supports students with the individualized and personalized instruction that is necessary to address their challenges associated with dyslexia and/or ADHD. Because of our small class sizes, strong home and school partnerships, a flexible, student-centered, and standards-based curriculum, and a highly qualified faculty implementing research-based teaching methods, we are well equipped to provide our students with the strategies and tools they need to address their learning challenges, take risks and be successful. Most importantly, students are explicitly taught the skill of self-advocating for what they need.

Center School has a proven track record of helping students realize their potential and achieve success despite their learning disability or challenge.

If this article has helped you identify possible challenges your child may have, visit the Center School website to find out how your child can receive a premier and individualized education that Center School provides.

References
Definition of dyslexia. (2002, November 12). International Dyslexia Association.
https://dyslexiaida.org/definition-of-dyslexia/
Hammer, C. (2022, October). Think you can spot ADHD in your classroom?. Attention, 28–29

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