Board Member: Susan McDonald


City/Town: Mooresville

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

Why did you decide to join the DDNC Board? I am a retired NC teacher, mother of a dyslexic daughter, grandmother to 2 children who are dyslexic, and an advocate for children. DDNC inspires me to continue my advocating for children who need a voice. I believe DDNC Board will allow me to be the “voice.”

Who inspired you to learn more about dyslexia? Two beautiful children! I was teaching at the time when teachers had never heard the word dyslexia. A student in my 3rd grade class needed help. His mother advocated strongly for him to “deaf ears.” I thought she wanted things easier for him. Boy, was I ever wrong!!! The next year, we learned our youngest adopted daughter was dyslexic. All I could think about was the word “DYSLEXIA!” What did it mean? Yes, I remember Mrs. T trying to advocate for her son. Could I ask her? Had I turned her off? I was in the same “boat” with her fighting for my child. I was a teacher! I was suppose to understand learning differences. Yes, I understood but I didn’t know how to implement. And so began my 35 year journey of commitment to my daughter, the children I had failed and vowed to never let another child fall into the hands of an uneducated society. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received on your dyslexia journey? Find a strong advocate, an Orton-Gillingham tutor, and read and re-read Dr. Sally Shaywitz’s book, “Overcoming Dyslexia.” It is my go to! I have had numerous copies on my shelf that I give anyone who will listen. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to give others? Remember…your child hasn’t changed! Your child learns differently. God gave you your child because He knew you could be their best support!

What are some of your favorite dyslexia resources?