Join me for seminar on dyslexia

Published 12:13 am Friday, January 25, 2019

Hello, my name is Debbie Dirago. I am the mother of a profound dyslexic and ADD child.

I know first hand the struggles caring parents face with children that have learning disabilities.

I was told that my son, a second-grader at the time, would never progress beyond the sixth grade.

As a mother, I refused to accept that notion. I began searching for a solution. I read, and researched. We placed him in private school, and then began to homeschool him.

I had him tested. It was very expensive, especially for single mother with two children.

The most helpful and accurate testing he received was taken in the comfort of our home.

It was free, and made available by the Susan Barton Foundation. He passed several hearing tests.

However, we learned that his brain interpreted several sounds differently, causing issues with reading.

This test revealed issues that the hearing test did not. At the time, I was a pre-med student.

A college friend majoring in education invited me to attend a seminar with her.

The seminar was about children with dyslexia, ADD and ADHD. As I sat in the audience listening, I realized that they were describing my child.

I began educating myself. I took careful notes. I learned so very much.

That was the beginning of my journey toward helping children with learning disabilities.

After applying much of what I had been taught to my son’s education, I decided to test him again.

He was a seventh-grader at the time and scored 12th-grade. That was amazing!

He is now a college student with a 3.8 grade point average. It has not been easy. As a result of my son’s success, other parents began calling on me to help their children.

For more than 20 years I have been teaching children with various learning disabilities.

Today, some of them have gone on to graduate from college. One of them graduated from college to prepare to become a teacher.

She has endured much and achieved much, scoring a 34 on her ACT.

Another student has received his master’s degree in social work.

These student’s parents were told the same thing I was — your child is not college material. Children learn differently.

Educators must be flexible with some children. When they are, even children with learning disabilities can achieve much.

I will host a free seminar 6 p.m. Feb. 7 at Briarwood Church of Christ in Natchez to inform parents on ways they can help their children.

Debbie Dirago is the mother of a dyslexic and ADD child.