Dyslexia Remains the Focus of Mississippi College Conference
February 14, 2017
More than 30 million Americans suffer from dyslexia.
Impacting 15 percent of people, dyslexia is a specific learning disability that’s neurobiological in origin. It’s characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor spelling as well as reading and writing problems.
After a recent Mississippi College conference, 120 educators returned home with the latest information to share with colleagues in school districts across the state.
“I like to come and stay updated to hear about the legislation we will be getting,” said Pam Hall, a dyslexia therapist with the North Tippah School District.
Receiving her master’s in dyslexia therapy from MC in 2010 gave Pam a solid academic understanding. But Hall makes it a point to return to her alma mater for conferences almost every year to keep up with the newest research methods.
Attending the 2017 Mississippi ALTA Regional Dyslexia Conference was important for reasons outside her job in Walnut near the Tennessee line. Pam Hall is a mom with two dyslexic children, a 24-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son.
ALTA stands for the Academic Language Therapy Association, a non-profit national group of professionals. With over 1,600 members today in 39 states, the organization got started in 1986.
The February 9 conference on the Clinton campus attracted a parade of speakers, including state Rep. Larry Byrd, Mary Lou Johnson of the Mississippi Choctaw Trial Schools, and Mississippi College Dyslexia Center Director Jan Hankins.
Many of the speakers sharing their insights brought strong connections to the Baptist-affiliated university. They include Kristen Frierson, a dyslexia therapist with the Mississippi Dyslexia Center in Hattiesburg. She earned her master’s in dyslexia therapy from MC in 2012.
Another presenter, Courtney Sorey works as a dyslexia therapist with the Choctaw Trial Schools at Red Water Elementary in Carthage. She received her master’s in dyslexia therapy from MC in 2016.
Shirley Tipton of the MC School of Education welcomed the guests at the B.C. Rogers Student Center. She was pleased with the turnout of teachers, administrators and parents. People in attendance were primarily from Mississippi. Some educators traveled from states like Louisiana, Alabama and Ohio.
Topics ranged from reading comprehension to dyslexia therapy for older students. Participants talked about the struggles people have trying to cope with dyslexia no matter what the age or income level.
Mississippi College will host its next major dyslexia conference in October 2017.
Contact Andy Kanengiser, University News Coordinator, at 601.925.7760 or at email@example.com.