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What People Should Know About Learning Differences

Meghan Mileham, Assistant Director of Admissions

October is Dyslexia Awareness month. Approximately 1 in 5 people are diagnosed with a language based learning disability, and dyslexia is one of the most common in the United States, but still misunderstood. Before coming to Gow our students can sometimes feel isolated and different in the classroom because of their learning difference. As our students go up in grades and the workload intensified, they often start to miss out on certain aspects of high school since they often had to work on assignments longer than their peers. While dyslexia is a widely known teachers are not always given the training to help a student with learning differences succeed or have the time to focus one on one with a student. We asked our Gow community “what do you want other teachers, students, and peers to know about learning differences specifically dyslexia?”

“Teacher should know that dyslexic students are capable, they are bright. They struggle with reading, writing and spelling. Given the right support and effective remediation there is no limit what these kids can do.” Doug Cotter ’87, P ’19, P ’23, Director of Admissions

“I would tell them that dyslexia and overall intelligence are not related. Just because a dyslexic student may struggle to read, it doesn’t mean they are not intelligent.” Daniel Dietz, History Teacher

“Be patients with your students” Jack D. ‘20

“People with dyslexia have sometimes hidden "super powers" such as charisma, visual memory, public speaking, engineering, or musical talents. It’s upon us as their teachers to help them unlock these skills and deploy those gifts as they trek down the path to success and stardom.” Brad Rogers, Headmaster

“My advice to teachers who have a student struggling with a learning difference would be try and sort out the problem with your student before getting frustrated and assuming they are lazy.” Sidney T. ’21

“Get to know your students and their learning differences and build a plan to help them succeed instead of getting upset because they are falling behind in class.” Caroline B. ’24

“Even though we have a learning disability we all are equal we just learn in a different way.” Jack G. ‘25

“If a student is getting behind in their work do not keep piling it on and keeping them back to do complete the missing work. This is going to make the student shut down and want to give up. Instead try and breaking down the assignments that they are past due on into little pieces, it will help them feel as though they are accomplishing a goal.” Cooper R. ’22

“Do not yell at them for things they cannot control. Instead use the tools available to you to help the students decode quickly and try to keep up with the rest of their classmates.” Lynn Chafin, Reconstructive Language Teacher

“Never tell a student that they are not going to be able to do anything. I was told that by teachers at my old school and it made me not want to learn. Now because of Gow I am set to graduate in May, something I was told would never happen.” Vito V. ’20