Student Dyslexia Workshop Raises Awareness

In an effort to raise awareness of the language disorders. Group project members Guadalupe Chuva, Annamaria Esposito, Angelic Levy and Megan Netuschil, held an evening event in Bouton Hall on Tuesday. The group decided on dyslexia as the focus for their child language disorders course, which is taught by Jessica Welsh, instructor of communication disorders at SUNY New Paltz.

“It is important for people to learn about all communication disorders, including written language disorders, such as dyslexia. Speech and language (verbal and non-verbal) tend to be invisible processes that you can’t see from the outside, so people who have them may withdraw or become isolated because communicating with others is difficult,” Welsh said.

The group focused on the difference between receptive and expressive language disorders, which are types of language disorders. While receptive language disorders involve reading comprehension difficulties and dyscalculia, expressive language disorders involve phonological difficulties and dysgraphia. 

 When someone has dyslexia that individual experiences difficulty with communication and writing, such as reading, spelling and word pronunciation.

“Dyslexia directly influences teachers and students, as learners and as people, because it’s a literal everyday, every hour occurrence,” said third-year geology major, Dan Dannor.

Dysgraphia causes an individual to have difficulty with writing coherently, while dyscalculia causes an individual to have difficulty with “numerical calculations. 

The audience was astonished to learn that dyslexia can be acquired if one is to endure a traumatic brain injury, such as a stroke, through the development of aphasia.

“Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that some people get after having a stroke, head injury, or other damage to the language centers in the brain. Aphasia can affect all aspects of language—the words you speak, your ability to understand or make sense of the words others say, the ability to read, and the ability to write,” Welsh said, whose speciality is in aphasia studies.

There are certain learning disorders associated with dyslexia, which include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which “affects a person’s ability to pay attention,” and autism, in which “repetitive behaviors” are distinct in a person’s socialization with others.

The group provided attendees with an activity to show them to briefly experience what it is like for those with dyslexia. Sources were utilized in order for attendees to experience the effects dyslexia has on individuals. This activity provided attendees with a visualization of the jumbled and jumping letters that occur in text within dyslexic individuals.

The presenters then allowed attendees to share what they were most surprised to learn about themselves. Responses featured unawareness about dyscalculia, the several components associated with dyslexia and the fact that this learning disorder has the potential of being acquired if one has endured brain trauma.

“It’s a way to educate people on something they may not know a lot about, to bring people together who may have a common interest and learn something they may not have the opportunity to learn elsewhere,” said fourth-year sociology and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies major, Catherine Callan.

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About Kelsey Fredricks 53 Articles
Kelsey Fredricks is a fourth-year English: Creative Writing major with a Journalism minor. This is her fourth semester on The Oracle and the first working in the new Multimedia Editor role. Previously, she worked as a News Copy Editor, while also managing the Instagram and (still) Facebook pages. Her favorite stories to read and write include those that fall within the realm of travel, pop culture, socially and culturally important features pieces, and those surrounding the multi-talented and magical Taylor Swift.