November 28th, 2021

Dyslexia awareness in the provincial spotlight


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman on October 9, 2021.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman This photo shows tems used by certified dyslexia tutor, Shannon Osmer to help children learn how to read through the Orton-Gillingham Method.

Alberta has joined the official Canadian celebration for Dyslexia Awareness Month, Mark it Read.
Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange announced earlier this month that October has been designated as Dyslexia Awareness month in Alberta.
“About 20 per cent of Albertans live with dyslexia and face challenges that make it difficult to read, write or spell,” said LaGrange in her statement.
For the last four years, Dyslexia awareness month has seen monuments and buildings across Canada being lit up red, as red is the official colour for dyslexia awareness.
This year Lethbridge City Hall will be lit up red on October 20, to raise awareness about dyslexia.
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, as defined by the International Dyslexia Association.
Certified Orton-Gillingham tutor for children with dyslexia and/or reading difficulties, Shannon Osmer, recently moved to Lethbridge from Ontario and she is happy to see the awareness being brought to Alberta this year.
She tutored children with dyslexia in Ontario by using the Orton-Gillingham method, which uses a multisensory approach by using auditory, visual and kinesthetic elements to help children learn about letters and sounds.
“I absolutely loved working with children with dyslexia because I could see the difference that it made in their lives. It was startling to see where they started with me and then by the time they finished the program, what they could accomplish in that amount of time,” said Osmer.
Osmer explained that usually children with dyslexia are quite bright, creative, problem solvers and they think outside the box.
Some famous dyslexics include Steven Spielberg, Orlando Bloom and Jamie Oliver.

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