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On this episode of The Early Link Podcast, host Rafael Otto speaks with Danielle Thompson, who is the president on the board of directors for the Oregon branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She has been an educator for more than two decades. And as a dyslexia screener and tutor, she has been on a journey to understand the impact of dyslexia on students and how educators can do more to help.



First, Danielle walks us through the definition of dyslexia as, “characterized by difficulties with accurate and or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and poor decoding abilities.” This can be taken a step further and even influence the processing of sound. She then follows up that there are plenty of misconceptions about children with dyslexia – the most common one being that dyslexics see words backwards. Another aspect Danielle clears up is that it’s a neurobiological condition that is not correlated to one’s intelligence.

Next, Danielle discusses the “continuum of severity” for dyslexia, and how some students are able to mask dyslexic traits while others are not. Then, the prevalence of dyslexia in Oregon is touched on, as well as what needs to change in the education system to properly teach those with dyslexia. The primary way to address this is through screening processes.

Finally, Danielle gives resources for parents, educators, professionals, and those interested in finding out more about dyslexia, the screening processes, etc.


Additional Resources:

International Dyslexia Association – Oregon

The Economic Impact of Dyslexia on California – Whitepaper

Florida Center for Reading Research 



Rafael Otto, Director of Communications, Children’s Institute

~ Thanks to Children’s Institute, working to ensure that every child in Oregon has the best start in life