Community Scholar Debbie Meyer in USA Today Article on Dyslexia
February 14, 2020
Columbia Community Scholar Debbie Meyer, whose project involves creating an organization to address the systemic issues and the policies that allow dyslexic students and struggling readers to fail, spoke with the Teacher Project and USA Today for a story about some of the barriers in getting help for students with disabilities, and her family's experiences when her son needed that help.
For both boys, the struggles at school started in the first grade.
Isaac Rosenthal was a fast talker with a big vocabulary. But when it came time to read, he couldn’t keep up with his classmates. He didn’t pick up on the rhyme scheme in Dr. Seuss books, and often mispronounced words whose meaning he knew (like “Pacific,” for which he’d substitute “the other ocean”).
Landon Rodriguez, four years younger than Isaac, was energetic and talkative at home but quiet and withdrawn at school. When he brought home reading assignments, Landon often confused Bs and Ds, and he labored through even short passages.
By the end of that seminal school year, both of their parents knew that something was wrong. In second grade, each boy was diagnosed with an unspecified learning disability and started receiving special education services at their public schools. “The teachers had no clue how to teach him,” said Debbie Meyer, Isaac’s mother.