On May 8, a group of local moms, who each have a child who is dyslexic, is bringing to Hood River the film “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” at Andrew’s Pizza at 6:15 p.m. with a discussion to follow.
The film is directed by Robert Redford’s son, James Redford, whose son is dyslexic. With the help of Swindell’s Resource Center of Providence Health Services, the parents are reaching out to the community and inviting families, teachers, educators, social service agency staff and the general public to attend to learn more about dyslexia, a neurological condition characterized by unexpected difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling.
Suzanne DeBonis of Hood River said a group of mothers has been meeting each Sunday for the past 18 months and now calls itself Dyslexia Club.
“We offer each other support and share information as we navigate the oftentimes difficult school process with our kids. At the same time, our kids get together and play. Both the moms and the kids have gotten a lot out of their time together,” DeBonis said. “Besides wanting to help our own children, we see there is a need to help the other potentially 600 to 800 dyslexic students and their families in the Hood River County School District.
“We have founded Decoding Dyslexia Oregon/Columbia Gorge, and are working with parents across the state who are all part of Decoding Dyslexia Oregon. There are now 44 statewide Decoding Dyslexia parent-led organizations, who all share the same mission: to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children, and inform policy-makers on best practices to identify and support students with dyslexia in public schools,” DeBonis said.
“The movie is our first effort to raise awareness and educate the community,” she said.
Studies show that as many as one in five students has dyslexia, according to DeBonis. Research has shown that when dyslexic children do not get the support and evidence-based instruction they need before third grade, they fall behind and often cannot recover, creating an achievement gap in reading.