Kelly and Ryan - Set the Record Straight for Dyslexic Students

Kelly and Ryan - Set the Record Straight for Dyslexic Students

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Debbie Meyer started this petition to The Walt Disney Company and

We first would like to thank you for taking the clip from Live with Kelly and Ryan featuring “Lexilens” off the internet so quickly after dyslexia experts and activists spoke up via Facebook and twitter. In terms of helping dyslexic people, Lexilens is no better than snake oil. The episode was a disservice to parents trying to help their kids learn to read.

Dyslexia is neurobiological in origin. Those with dyslexia have trouble connecting sounds to symbols, and if not addressed with strong phonemic awareness and phonological awareness lessons early, many dyslexic students struggle reading for a lifetime. It has nothing to do with vision. It also has nothing to do with intelligence. Many business leaders have dyslexia and are doing fine – usually, they came from a well-resourced home and got at least support, if not remediation. We understand Mr. Walt Disney was an example of this. And about 15% of the rest of us are dyslexic as well.

However, there is a tragic flip side. Most teacher preparation programs in our teaching colleges, special ed programs and reading specialist programs do not prepare teachers to address dyslexia, or even struggling readers who are not dyslexic. As a result, our prisons are filled with people who were never taught to read, and 48% of them are illiterate due to dyslexia and lack of instruction. The rate of illiteracy due to dyslexia among the homeless is more than double the general rate. Kids that aren’t taught to read often suffer from anxiety, depression and their frustration at school is misdiagnosed and often, sadly, criminalized. Economists put the cost of illiteracy in the US at $1.4 Trillion. 

The only way to remedy the misinformation put forth by your show is to truly educate your audiences about dyslexia. We feel this is imperative after having proselytized such a myth.  Thank you for your consideration.  

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