Helena supports those with dyslexia

Helena moms Ramona Rice, Pam Moran and Susan Beddingfield are advocates for Decoding Dyslexia in Alabama. A proclamation to declare October as Dyslexia Awareness Month was presented to the City Council this week. (Contributed)

Helena moms Ramona Rice, Pam Moran and Susan Beddingfield are advocates for Decoding Dyslexia in Alabama. A proclamation to declare October as Dyslexia Awareness Month was presented to the City Council this week. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Ramona Rice, state founder for the grassroots movement Decoding Dyslexia of Alabama and Pam Moran, a co-founder, have been very visible around town recently educating our community about relatively unknown facts and myths surrounding dyslexia.
“We’re finding that children with dyslexia have frequently been made to feel slow or left behind,” said Rice. “It is now well-established that dyslexic children are highly creative and are out-of-the-box thinkers.”
Ramona and David Rice’s son, Watson, attended public school kindergarten-fifth grade, but now attends Spring Valley School. Their daughter, Marlena, graduated May 2014 from PHS.
“Many dyslexic children, however, do not qualify for an IEP because of their IQ level,” added Rice. “They need sequenced, explicit, multi-sensory instruction that is evidence-based in order to learn with or without an IEP.”
Moran’s son, Logan, is in third grade. “With his dyslexia come many gifts, he is an excellent problem solver and has great people skills. Like we told Logan, his brain works like another famous dyslexic—Walt Disney—and that is pretty cool.”
The colorful and eye-catching posters of DDA remind us that great minds like DaVinci, Picasso and Alexander Graham Bell were dyslexic and inform us that today, dyslexia is no longer a stigma.
Available handouts list the signs of dyslexia in preschool, elementary and high school age children, as well as for adults.
There is also information compiled by Alabama and National Resources for Dyslexia and a list of books on the topic, both for children’s reading level and adult information, for example, “Overcoming Dyslexia” by Dr. Sally Shaywitz.
Another Helena mother, Susan Beddingfield, is a tutor for students with dyslexia. Her daughter, Katy, is now a junior at Montevallo majoring in costume and makeup design, and is in the top 15 percent of her class.
“Katy, her mom says, “will anyone talk to anyone about being dyslexic. She is not afraid of failure, but realizes it is part of the learning process.”
Twenty percent of the population has dyslexia. That is 1 in 5 and to emphasize that fact, the 2nd Annual Dyslexic Tower Lighting will be held at RSA Tower Park in Montgomery on October 15. For more information, visit decodingdyslexiaALA.com.