McAllen ISD teachers to receive training to help understand students with dyslexia

By: Sarah Cervera

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McAllen Independent School District is seeing an increase in students diagnosed with dyslexia.

This school year, 2,500 students district wide were diagnosed, that is 800 more than last year.

Reading out loud is a rite of passage for grade students to help them learn reading and vocabulary better.

For fifth grader Itzel Gonzalez, it is a challenging experience.

"When I looked at the words, I stopped, I froze, I couldn't sound them out," Gonzalez said.

She was diagnosed with dyslexia two years ago, and she explained it was as though the letters were dancing on the pages of her books.

"They would just go everywhere. I can't put them together and figure out how to read," Gonzalez said.

Now her school district is making sure teachers understand what she and other students with dyslexia go through.

The simulation works with McAllen ISD teachers covering their hands and looking at what they're writing in the reflection of a mirror. It mimics what students with dyslexia experience.

"They get so frustrated and upset that the simulation teaches you and lets you know that is exactly how our students can feel," McAllen ISD Dyslexia Director Salvador Flores said.

Flores says they wanted more teachers to understand what students go through because more of their students were diagnosed with dyslexia.

He says once teachers understand what students with dyslexia go through, they can make helpful changes in the classroom, including controlling classroom noise levels and giving students more time to write notes.

The district plans to have all teachers undergo the simulation by October 16.

Watch the video above for the full story.


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