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Dyslexia fact: 1 out of every 5 people have some form of the disability

October 21, 2011|by Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News | areynolds@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's Dyslexia Awareness Month.  Experts call it the hidden disability.  They believe one out of every five people have some form of dyslexia.

Every week, Austin Butcher plays out a tune for his bass instructor.  Practice makes perfect for the Springfield Youth Symphony musician.  While he's extremely talented, he once wasn't reaching milestones like typical kids.

"I don't understand how somebody can put together a thousand-piece Lego set in just a few minutes, but he can't write his name," said Austin's mother, Deana Butcher.

Things got worse before they got better.  Through his eyes is a world many cannot comprehend.

"When Austin came home crying and he said, 'They say I'm stupid at school,' and I thought, because as a teacher I know what happens when kids are labeled -- I see it every day and the things that happen; they resort to alternative activities -- I promised Austin and myself that I would do everything I could, so he would not be a kid that would fall through the cracks," said Deana Butcher.

At first, it was thought he had a few learning disabilities, even vision problems, but Austin also has a lot of physical pain.  He gets migraines often, caused by stress.  He cannot handle change well.

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It took a few years to get the diagnosis of dyslexia.  For Austin, it's severe and the challenges are greatest at school.

"His comprehension is very high when he reads.  He reads at the high school level, but it's very slow," said Austin's father, Michael Butcher.

At Rivendale Institute of Learning, there are classes for people with severe dyslexia.

"Once you are diagnosed with dyslexia, you will always have it.  You can't get rid of it.  But it can be treated," said G-g Shryer.

Specialists say early intervention is key.

"If kindergarten and first graders could all be screened for dyslexia, it could save a lot of low self esteem problems and a lot of low grades," said Shryer.

Rivendale Institute of Learning

"Hard 2 spel dad" -- a play about teens dealing with dyslexia

Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 23, 2:30 p.m.

Carrington Hall Auditorium, 901 S. National, Springfield.

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"Dyslexia Support Group" meets monthly at the Library Center on South Campbell Avenue.    The next meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the Harrison Room.

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