Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina

Board Member: Jennifer Dew

City/Town: Sanford

When did you join the Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina (DDNC) Board? September 2021

Why did you decide to join the DDNC Board? I am passionate about educating and supporting children with dyslexia. It is important to me that families with dyslexic children find the support and resources they need to receive evaluations, and the advocacy to ensure their children are provided effective instruction designed to meet their very specific needs. 

Who inspired you to learn more about dyslexia?
The students I have the privilege to work with every day. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received on your dyslexia journey? Dr. Kelli Sandman-Hurley, a co-founder of the Dyslexia Training Institute, stated, “If it is not in writing, it didn’t happen!” during a training session. It is so critical to start a binder and ensure you keep track of your documentation of concerns and requests. This documentation will ensure all parties are kept accountability to legal procedures and requirements and student needs and services are met. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to give others? Trust yourself to be your child’s best advocate. Know your child’s legal rights and your rights as a parents and do not be afraid to stand up for your child by challenging others who may not know what you do! If you suspect your child is dyslexic, ignore the “wait and see” approach and pursue it! The earlier your child receives a diagnosis, the earlier you will be able to advocate for your child’s needs to ensure he/she receives proper and effective intervention. 

What are some of your favorite dyslexia resources? Some of my favorite dyslexia resources include: “Overcoming Dyslexia” by Sally Shaywitz, “The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan” by Ben Foss, The Dyslexia Training Institute, the International Dyslexia Association, Wright’s Law, and “The Reading Gap” by John Corcoran.