Dyslexia is a disability that hinders the brain’s ability to match sounds with letters. This affects reading, writing and spelling.
On Wednesday evening, a Troy Hill school will host a simulation aimed at building understanding around dyslexia for teachers and parents.
“By the end of the evening we need to give out Advil, 'cause people get such headaches because they’re exerting such effort to complete such basic tasks,” said Maria Paluselli, head of curriculum at Provident Charter School, which specializes in dyslexia.
The simulation, which is part of programming from the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, includes six activities to replicate the difficulty kids with dyslexia encounter in class. One is a reading exercise that requires participants to decipher symbols.
“Some people are very quick to decode, to figure out the code and just can kind of read it,” said Paluselli. “Other people are just blown away and embarrassed that they can’t. And so, what it simulates is not being able to decode quickly in a classroom situation.”
Other exercises include a spelling test of nonsense words, and an activity where participants write with their non-dominate hands using mirrors.
By some estimates, up to 20 percent of the general population has some form of dyslexia, which can range from mild to severe.