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Association creates free online service for dyslexic youths

By Staff | Oct 29, 2009

The American Dyslexia Association has unveiled a free service to the families of children with dyslexia.
Parents can download worksheets and activities following the AFS method, a 15-year-old worldwide program that hones in on a child’s sensory weaknesses.
“This is an educational method to help dyslexic children where they need help,” said Live Pailer-Duller, chief executive officer of the Sarasota-based, nonprofit association.
Dyslexia is a genetic condition which causes problems with attention, focus and sense perceptions. Effects of the condition on children include difficulty reading or writing, or making mistakes in school.
People diagnosed with dyslexia can have problems with body perceptions or spatial perceptions, as well as recognizing something visually, said Pailer-Duller.
The worksheets and activities offered by the ADA can help dyslexic children with weaknesses in all three areas.
“The first step is to find out in which area the dyslexic person has problems,” she said. “Not everyone has the same type of dyslexia.”
After identifying the areas where they need help, children can download free documents from the ADA’s Web site at: www.american-dyslexia-association.com and begin practicing.
“There is a genetic disposition that causes the children to have those different perceptions, but they can be trained. If you work on them and practice them, you can fix them,” Pailer-Duller said.
More than 1,600 worksheets are available on the Web site, she said.
According to the ADA, 15 percent to 20 percent of all children in the United States are affected by some form of dyslexia.
“The problem persists in every language,” said Pailer-Duller.
The Lee County School District had approximately 7,000 students with disabilities take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, according to a 2009 report from the Florida Department of Education.
Many of these local students may have one or more symptoms of dyslexia that could be improved with additional one-on-one activities.
Pailer-Duller said the ASF method is different because it is based on one-on-one training with a teacher after school or with parents at home for as little as 15 minutes each day.
“There are so many children out there affected by dyslexia and they need individual help,” she said.
The service is currently free, available online and does not require parent registration.