Letter to the Editor - Friday, May 9: Dyslexia support

I AM trying to create a support group for people in the Clarence Valley affected by learning difficulties and, in particular, dyslexia.

I am a mother of two school-aged children who were assessed late last year with dyslexia. Part of my frustration (and I'm sure many others) is that this is a common disability yet there is so little known about it by the community, including teachers and medical practitioners.

As many as one in five have a learning disability and dyslexia is the most common of these.

Yet there is no funding in schools for dyslexia and no mandatory testing of struggling children in the early years of primary schools. Dyslexia is also proven to run in families.

It took years for my children to be assessed because there was no direction in schools or the community, and it's not considered medical so doctors often don't have an understanding of it (some children are incorrectly diagnosed ADHD).

Without a parent who is willing to do the hard yards and collect the evidence required and pay the fee for testing, many children will go undetected into adulthood (testing costs about $700, but finding an accredited assessor is often a minefield).

The US, UK, NZ and many European countries have systems of testing and support in place for dyslexia, but not Australia.

If you have a child affected by dyslexia (or you suspect you may), or you are an adult with dyslexia or an educator please join our local group - Clarence Valley Dyslexia Support. We are on Facebook (it is a closed Facebook Group therefore your comments are private to the group). Also, you can email dyslexiaclarence@gmail.com or phone 0412 058 325.

Julie Hermansen,
Clarence Valley Dyslexia Support Group

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