Decoding Dyslexia VA

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Graduate Shout Out Details



Proud of your graduate?  So are we!!!


Want to give a shout out to your graduate??

Each night in June, that we have participants, DDVA will Shout Out your message of congrats!!

Here are the details!

What & When: Posts will go up on our Decoding Dyslexia VA FaceBook page each night at 7 p.m.

Who:  Our community of graduates.  High school, college, tech, middle school, elementary school, tutoring program, etc., if they are graduating we want to help celebrate!!

What we need:

Photo of your gradate. (By sending us your photo you are giving DDVA permission to use that photo for this campaign, we will not use the photo for any other purposes.)

First name, Last Name (optional)

Name of School and town in VA.  (Not in VA??? Ck with your state Decoding Dyslexia chapter here to see if they are hosting this campaign, if not we will gladly include your Shout Out!)

Your personal message of congrats!  Sample message:  “We are so proud of you! Love Mom and Dad”

Please send your info to:


Sample template:


Summer is coming!

summer programs.jpg

We invite our supporting organizations to send us their summer time programs, camps, workshops, sessions, etc.  DDVA will work to put together a resource for Virginia families looking for opportunities for summer activities enrollment.

Please submit program details to now through March 30, 2014.



Would you like to spread DDVA’s message, but you are unsure where to start?

It doesn’t have to be difficult, just remember you live with it every day!  In fact your story of dyslexia is the most important part!

We will give you a packet for the legislator and make every attempt to pair you with another person who shares your state Delegate or Senator.

We hope to pair you with someone who knows the DDVA dialog well.  But, based on the number of people who attend February 4, we realize that may not be possible.

Below you will find our consistent message. We realize it is a lot of information and does not have to be delivered word for word.  We have a demonstration video too, if you think that would help. In general, this meeting would take about 25 minutes with pleasant conversation included.

DDVA Introduction:

  • Decoding Dyslexia Virginia is a grassroots movement founded in 2013
  • The first Decoding Dyslexia State was New Jersey, since they formed in 2011 more than (check website for current number – 44 as of 1/2014) states have joined the movement
  • Take from the number of states involved, that this issue id not only here in Virginia, it’s national
  • DDVA Mission:
    • We want to families to resources, support, and educational interventions
    • We aim to:
      • Raise dyslexia awareness
      • Empower families to support their children
      • Inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia in Virginia.
      • DDVA  Members:
        • Comprised of parents whose children are dyslexic
        • We are not experts
        • We offer the community the benefit of our collective experiences
        • 800 strong representing all areas of the state

Dyslexia Definition/The Facts:

  • Ask the person with whom you are talking what they know about dyslexia, or if they know someone who is dyslexic.

The Facts:

  • People often think Dyslexia is reading or seeing words and letters backwards. But that is not what dyslexia is
  • Dyslexia affects 1 in 5, or 20% of the population
  • Dyslexia is defined on page 11 of the regulations governing special education programs for children with disabilities in Virginia,
  • Virginia has a universal definition of dyslexia in the state education code:
  • You do not need to recite the definition, but here it is for reference:

Dyslexia is distinguished from other learning disabilities due to Its weakness occurring at the phonological level. 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”.

  • People who have dyslexia have average or above average intelligence
  • Language Centers of the brain have been defined with the help of Functional Brain Imaging/fMRI’s and are on the left side of the brain
  • Dyslexics tend to be picture thinkers, and use the right side of the brain more.
  • But, put the left brain/right brain issue aside, and think instead about the non dyslexic brain having fast express lanes between the language centers
  • Compare that to the dyslexic brain which has more circuitous routes/clogged highways/country roads
  • Many people are never diagnosed, but as many as 80% of children in LD classes may really be dyslexic
  • Currently most schools teach typical learners to read using what is called a “Whole Language “ approach, this method doesn’t work for a dyslexic learner
  • Dyslexic learners need to be taught the rules of the English language, and specific phoneme rules
  • The remediation is specific
  • Remediation should be structured, sequential, cumulative, and simultaneously multisensory
  • When identified and remediated with proper instruction, dyslexic children can thrive, and transition out of Special education
  • When diagnosis is delayed, children struggle and often have to have many more years of special education once they can no longer compensate
  • Up to 70% of those in the criminal justice system have a learning disability

Tell your story:


We are advocating for Virginia to implement:

  • Teacher/staff training on dyslexia, its warning signs and appropriate intervention strategies
  • Early screening tests for dyslexia to include parental notification
  • Evidenced-based dyslexia remediation programs implemented with fidelity which can be accessed by both general and special education populations
  • Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the public school setting for students with dyslexia

The “ASK” what we would like legislator to do for us:

  • Please be aware of dyslexia specific legislation and remember my story when you do


For Immediate Release


Rebecca Worth Warner

Decoding Dyslexia VA Co- Founder

Richmond, VA


Decoding Dyslexia VA to Raise Awareness and Concerns

At the Capital on Feb. 4, 2014


Richmond, VA – Jan. 14, 2014 – Decoding Dyslexia VA, with the support of Delegate Kaye Kory, 38th district, will be hosting a Dyslexia Awareness Day at the state capital on Feb. 4, 2014.

In addition to the House, Senator Jill Vogel, District 37, has offered continued support and guidance for the parent run group.

The event is open to the public and is expected to draw a large contingency of passionate parents and specialists. DDVA encourages families, educators and policy makers to attend to learn more about dyslexia, the impact on our children and on Virginia’s schools. More importantly learn about solutions that 30 years of research has provided to address this valued community that has long been misunderstood.

The Dyslexic community is estimated at 1 in 5, easily 20% of Virginia’s population.  The consequences of ignoring the needs of this community will have an escalating impact on the state’s literacy rate, drop-rate and workforce.  Sadly each one of these directly correlates to our incarceration rates.

Reading Difficulties, Including Dyslexia, Are Very Common*      

Reading difficulties are the most common cause of academic failure and underachievement. Learning to read and write is not natural or easy for many—if not most—students, especially those with dyslexia and related language problems. The National Assessment of Educational Progress consistently finds that about 36% of all fourth graders read at a level described as “below basic.”


Between 15 and 20% of young students are doomed to academic failure because of reading and language processing weaknesses, unless those weaknesses are recognized early and treated skillfully. Another 20–30% is at risk for inadequate reading and writing development, depending on how—and how well—they are taught. Most of these at‐risk students are ineligible for special education services and are dependent on the instruction given in the regular classroom or other supplementary services.


However, of those students who are referred to special education services in public schools, approximately 85% are having severe difficulties with language, reading, and writing. Clearly, responsibility for teaching reading and writing must be shared by classroom teachers, reading specialists, and special education personnel.


There is known research-based instruction that can successfully lessen the impact of dyslexia and help students to overcome its more debilitating symptoms. Analyses of teacher licensing tests show that typically, very few are aligned with current research on effective instruction for students at risk.

Decoding Dyslexia is a parent-based grassroots movement which started two years ago in New Jersey, and has spread rapidly to include 44 of the 50 U.S. states.  Virginia’s chapter was founded a little over a year ago. The group’s primary objectives are to see the state implement:

  • Increase awareness among educators and families with regard to warning signs
  • Teacher/staff training on dyslexia, its warning signs and appropriate intervention strategies
  • Early screening tests for dyslexia to include parental notification
  • Evidenced-based dyslexia remediation programs implemented with fidelity which can be accessed by both general and special education populations
  • Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the public school setting for students with dyslexia


About Dyslexia**

Dyslexia affects up to 1 in 5 people, but the experience of dyslexia isn’t always the same. This difficulty in processing language exists along a spectrum — one that doesn’t necessarily fit with labels like “normal” and “defective.” Kelli Sandman-Hurley, Ed. D., urges us to think again about dyslexic brain function and to celebrate the neurodiversity of the human brain.



See Kelli Sandman-Hurley’s TED-Ed Original featuring her words and ideas brought to life by professional animators:


*The International Dyslexia Association, Promoting Literacy Through Research Education and Advocacy ( )

**Ted Ed Lessons Worth Sharing:

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:
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