2020-2022 Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina Board Member: Christie Eakins

Board Member: Christie Eakins

City/Town: Wilmington

When did you join the Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina (DDNC) Board?
I joined DDNC in 2015 with my sister Lisa and then joined the board when it became a non-profit in 2020.

Why did you decide to join the DDNC Board?
I decided to join so I could continue to help families that need resources and advice to help support them after they discover that their child is dyslexic. I also know that there is so much more that can be done by the state of North Carolina and our university system to help children with dyslexia in school.

Who inspired you to learn more about dyslexia?
My nephew James and his mom Lisa.

What is the best piece of advice you have received on your dyslexia journey?
I am not sure where this advice came from, but it is the biggest piece of advice that I give parents. Always put your concerns and requests in writing. This will help document and hold schools to legal requirements and timelines that they must adhere to.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give others?
Learn about your child’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and hold schools accountable to follow the law. On a personal note, remember that school is only a small part of your child’s life and that they have other gifts and talents that should be nurtured and praised.

What are some of your favorite dyslexia resources?

  • Dyslexia Tool Kit – If you are new to the world of dyslexia the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has their Dyslexia Tool Kit that gives a good overview of dyslexia.
  • IDEA Parent GuideThis is a lengthy document, but if you are interested in learning about how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) works and what the law requires, it is another great resource from NCLD.
  • I am a big fan of the Dyslexia Guidance Letter which was written by the US Department of Education (OSERS) in October 2015. It states that you can say “dyslexia” in an IEP. Specific Leaning Disability (SLD) is the disability category in IDEA for children identified with dyslexia, but schools and parents can put that the child has dyslexia in their IEP. This helps clarify what learning disability the child has and in turn what instruction will be most appropriate.

    The hashtag #SayDyslexia came about in 2015 when multiple states were pushing the U.S. Department of Education to provide guidance on misinformation that was being given to parents by schools..