Decoding Dyslexia VA

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To the Rescue

by Joan Moore


I recently perused the National Book Festival in D. C. to find a good book, but it was a dog in a book that was my find for the day. Jane Paley and her dog Hooper were on stage entertaining parents and children, chronicling Hooper’s journey as a dog displaced by Hurricane Katrina to the lead character in his own book, Hooper Finds a Family. Hooper also found a new role as a reading therapy dog.

Sometimes people get lucky too. My sons had a tutor who made them readers before their self-esteem plummeted. She was our rescue. She tutored in her home and was accompanied by two black labs, Abbey and Katy; and yes, they were rescue dogs. My sons are teenagers now, but they still visit their tutor and her new black lab, Cindy. Although not a registered therapy dog, Cindy often escorts reluctant children from their cars into her home where they embark on an effective reading program for dyslexics. Cindy is the reason we chose to get our own rescue lab.

We hope to create an atmosphere where our dyslexic children want to access a book. My son reminded me that I read to them each night for at least thirty minutes. It was our own book club; it was a time for discussion. Tutoring is crucial, but parents also try to find the right book, the right author, an audiobook, or any hook that makes accessing a book worth the trouble.  There must be a lure into reading when it’s difficult, and sometimes it’s sharing a good book with a parent or with a four legged friend like Hooper.

Try checking your local library to learn more about programs offered, we found  Read to the Dog  offered through the Fairfax County Library.

hooper book pic

Pretty Powerful

Pretty Powerful

Thought we would share this poem entitled, I’m From. Written by Noah K., a 12 yr old, dyslexic student from Loudoun County, VA. He is the son of a DDVA member.

A Parent Center Visit

This past Friday Decoding Dyslexia Virginia had the opportunity to sit down with Gail Holloman of the FCPS Parent Resource Center  (PRC).  We are excited to share that DDVA information will now be displayed in their Community  Services Room as well as when they host dyslexia/reading workshops. Look for their next dyslexia workshop in late October.
We also learned that FCPS PRC archives past workshops and make them available on their website for families to view.  Families are also welcome to visit their library, and check out materials.  They have made returning them even easier, families are welcome to drop them back off at their home school or stop back by the PRC. The staff was very helpful, and if you are a Fairfax family in need of resources this is a great place to start.  For more information and contact information please visit: and watch their video here: Parent Resource Center
Save the date for the FCPS Special Education Conference to be held on Saturday, March 1st  20014 at Woodson High School in Fairfax. Over 1800 in attendance last year.
For those Virginia families who do not live in Fairfax County, please check your county’s website for your local Parent Resource Centers.  We did a quick search and found a few.
Loudoun County PRC –
One final resource that can point you in the right direction if you are having trouble locating your local Parent Resource Center.  Check out the Virginia Family special Education Connection here:

The Big Picture Movie Roadshow

The Big Picture Movie Roadshow

Save the date!  Tickets go on sale Sept. 12th!  See you there!



We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in Virginia.

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