Key Takeaways From “Dyslexia 101: Navigating Your Child’s Educational Journey,” Presented by Jamie Williamson, EdS, for Rivertown Parents

Head of School Jamie Williamson, EdS, engaged with local families through the community group Rivertown Parents, with an informational webinar titled, “Dyslexia 101: Navigating Your Child’s Educational Journey.” Rivertown Parents is comprised of parents/guardians from the Westchester, NY area, including Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, Irvington, Sleepy Hollow, and Tarrytown, and was created to provide information, advice, and support for families with students in elementary, middle, and high school. 

As a trained school psychologist and educational leader, Mr. Williamson shared the neuroscience of dyslexia and dispelled myths related to the disability. He highlighted what dyslexia might look like for children from pre-k to high school age and called attention to the importance of early screening and diagnosis. As many families begin or continue to navigate this complicated process, this presentation culminated with the key components of a thorough IEP/CSE meeting. 

Key takeaways from Mr. Williamson’s webinar, "Dyslexia 101: Navigating Your Child’s Educational Journey:"

  1. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Read more about language-based learning disabilities from Mr. Williamson here.

  2. Children with dyslexia can learn to read like their peers with explicit, structured, sequential literacy instruction (ESSLI), but may still have to put forth more effort.

  3. The Science of Reading is a long-standing and ongoing area of study and Educational Neuroscience is helping bridge researchers and educators to further the understanding of how children learn how to read, why specific interventions work, and why some children respond differently to specific interventions. Learn more about Educational Neuroscience research being conducted at The Windward School here.

  4. Skilled reading consists of core literacy skills included under the umbrellas of decoding and language comprehension.

  5. A diagnosis of a reading disability is different than screening for a language-based learning disability. 

  • A diagnosis is a conclusion made after appropriate tests are administered
  • Screenings evaluate an individual's risk of developing difficulties 
  1. Components of an IEP:

  • Statement of current achievement 
  • Measuring and reporting progress 
  • Statement of related services 
  • Statement of participation 
  • Statement of accommodations 
  • Annual goals 
  • Projected start date 

Learn more about navigating the IEP/CSE process here.